Nutrition for the Elderly
I have been concerned with nutrition for the elderly, which certainly includes me, according to my 11 year old son. At 61 I know about low testosterone levels, and those senior moments where I cannot recall just the word I want, and I have been leery of processed foods because of what I know about high fructose corn syrup and appetite stimulants like monosodium glutamate (msg).
I have also watched my inlaws and one of my wife's aunts suffer some serious health setbacks, and they are not much older than I am.
So I would prefer to live a long and healthy life, which is one of the reasons that I began the study of Chi Gong about nine years ago, and took Mannatech supplements for a long time.
But I did not switch my eating habits especially when I got home late in the day after a long days work.
And I have had this niggling worry in the back of my mind say that I need to quit eating meat and start eating much more vegetables.
But how to do that without creating a huge mess or a time consuming process.
I love smoothies for example, but cleaning the blender or the veg-o-matic is a headache.
Earlier this year I made a rather radical change for a meat and potato guy raised in the midwest on roast beef and steaks as part of the American dream, and I switched to big salads with lots of vegies in them at least twice a day.
It was not totally vegetarian, as I included a small portion of meat, and eggs.
However it was much more vegetables than I had eaten in a day for my entire life.
The result was that I lost about 12 pounds in a couple of months, and felt good.
And then this spring we planted some vegies and as they matured, since my wife had insisted on four tomato plants, we had a ton of ripe tomatos, and I was raised by survivors of the depression who would not let us leave the table until all the food we had taken was gone, so even though I do not really care for tomatoes, I decided to juice some, along with celery from our garden, and carrots.
I did not look so good at first, very different looking, but I got used to the look quickly and was able to knock back many bit glasses of my own version of V-8 juice, especially after I included some V-8 juice.
And now I am looking to do more juicing to get a hefty ration of lycopene, good for the prostate gland, along with many other phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other valuable nutrients into my aging body in big jolts.
Not only do I want my immune system to be as strong as possible, but I want my brain to increase its neurogenesis and neuroplasticity throughout my lifespan because I have given my brain all the building blocks it needs.
So I decided to do some online research for nutrition for the elderly, and there are many other folks with the same idea as I, so there is some good information available about juicing nutrition for the elderly.
Juicing is a very efficient way to get what Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., co-authors of the excellent Brainfit for Life call micro and macronutrients into the body and brain for peak immune system and brain fitness.
Never heard of the concept of brain fitness? You can work out your brain just like you can work out your bicep, by taking care of the pillars of brain fitness like physical exercise, nutrition, including omega 3 fatty acid, sleep, stress management, and novel learning experiences.
More on brain fitness a little further down the page.
I guess the important thing I am noticing today is that I am craving some of my tomato tonic, with some celery and carrots, and I am looking at my copy to the Juice Lady's guide to Juicing for Health.
Guess I better get started on this hadn't I?
Healthy eating and physical activity are important lifestyle habits for people of all ages and they are of particular importance for the elderly. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, 87 percent of older Americans have a chronic disease that can be improved through nutrition.
Eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk for many conditions associated with aging, including anemia, confusion, infections, hip fractures, hypotension, and wounds. And when combined with regular physical activity it can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
And since I am going to be loading my brain up on nutrients, I better get busy with the other pillars of brain fitness, physical exercise, which I can do at home too, using the model that 88 and 82 year old Bill and Pat do. Or I can go to the YMCA where 89 year old Ray and 2 days older Jim insult my sports allegiances and call me young man. But they insult me only between insults to each other.
One of the things that Evans and Burghardt spend some time on is the importance of omega 3 fatty acid to your brain's ability to grow new brain cells and make new, rich connections, which we did not even know our brains could do 10-12 years ago.
It turns out that our neurons are sheathed in omega 3 fatty acid, which needs to be updated through our diet very regularly, or those neurons become rigid and do not talk to their neighbors clearly.
Neuron to neuron communication is very important to our decision making process, so by all means get omega 3 fatty acid into your diet, either through fish, which is the best source, or through appropriately processed supplements. Make sure your source of omega 3 fatty acid is not poisoned by mercury.
Now you are prepared for your brain fitness novel learning experiences, like the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, Lumosity, or Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro.
Those are the tools that fit the novel learning experience pillar of brain fitness.