NUTRITION & HYDRATION WEEK
Celebrated Nutrition & Hydration Week with a Local Community ClubDEHYDRATION IS A COMMON PROBLEM
Dehydration is a common and very serious condition. The best thing to do is try to prevent it from happening, but it’s much easier said than done to increase their fluid intake!
Dehydration can cause death
It’s important to prevent dehydration because it’s a common cause of hospitalization in people over 65 and can even cause death.
It can also cause other major health problems like kidney stones, blood clot complications, passing out, rapid but weak pulse, and lowered blood pressure. Being properly hydrated is also very important for certain medications to work.
6 WAYS TO DRINK MORE WATER:
1. Remember there are many sources of fluids
You don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweetened beverages, fruits, and vegetables all contain water. If you really hate drinking fluids, serve them more foods with high water content to increase their hydration.
2. Keep water easily accessible
Sometimes, making it easy to serve ourselves could encourage us to drink more water. Try putting a lightweight pitcher of water and a cup near your favourite seat.
3. Experiment with beverages at different temperatures
You may prefer hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. Experiment to find out which type you like better. Try warming up juices, make decaf iced coffee with cream, or add soda water to make drinks bubbly.
4. Try something savoury
Those who like savoury foods may enjoy drinking hot soup broth. The broth can come from a can, box, or powder, but some really like it – especially in cold weather.
5. Make popsicles
Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great summer treat. But they’re also a great way to get fluids into yourself.
6. Have smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, sports drinks
Some of us may really resist drinking fluids. If so, you can try enticing yourself with smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, or sports drinks. Sometimes you’ll like the flavour or texture and be willing to drink these beverages.
These are a few ideas to help you coax yourself into drinking more water. What’s important is to be creative and arm yourself with many different ideas.
Be careful of health issues and check with the doctor when you have questions. For example, don’t have high sodium drinks in case of high blood pressure, milkshakes in case of already being overweight or with high cholesterol, or heavily sweetened drinks when diabetic.
BENEFITS OF HEALTHY EATING?
Healthy eating begins with you! Giving your body the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight can help you stay active and independent. You’ll also spend less time and money at the doctor. Eating well is vital at any age, but improving your diet in later life can help you to:
Live longer and stronger – Good nutrition boosts immunity, fights illness-causing toxins, keeps weight in check, and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, and cancer.
Sharpen your mind – People who eat fruit, leafy veggies, and fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidant-rich green tea may also enhance memory and mental alertness as you age.
Improve your mental health - A healthy diet can lower your risk for mental health problems as you age, such as depression and anxiety. If you've already been diagnosed, eating well can help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.
Feel better – Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a boost to your mood and self-esteem. It’s all connected—when your body feels good you feel happier inside and out.
While healthy eating is not without its challenges as you age, these tips can ensure you continue to enjoy your food, reach or maintain a healthy weight, and get all the nutrients your body needs for you to thrive as you get older.
CREATE A HEALTHY DIET PLAN
The key to healthy eating is to focus on the whole, minimally processed food that your body needs as you age—food that is as close to its natural form as possible. Our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors, so finding the healthy diet that works best for you may take some experimentation.
Fruit – Break the apple and banana rut and go for colour-rich pickings like berries or melons. Aim for 2-3 servings a day.
Veggies – Choose antioxidant-rich dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as colourful vegetables such as carrots and squash. Try for 2-3 cups every day.
Calcium – Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Older adults need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale.
Grains – Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and more fiber.
Healthy fats – Because fat is so dense in calories, a little can go a long way in making you feel full and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Protein – Adults over 50 without kidney disease or diabetes need about 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of bodyweight (0.5 g of protein per lb. of body weight is close enough).
- Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time. You’ll give your taste buds time to adjust and be able to wean yourself off the craving for sweets and sugary food.
- Replace refined carbs with complex carbs such as oatmeal, beans, vegetables, and other high fiber foods. You’ll feel fuller, more satisfied, and have more energy.
- Avoid soda and sweetened coffee drinks. One can of soda contains 10-12 teaspoons of sugar and around 150 calories. Even artificial sweetener can trigger sugar cravings that contribute to weight gain. Instead, try switching to carbonated water with lemon or a splash of juice.
- Eat more fiber. Include whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and fruit. Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice. Peeling can reduce the amount of fiber, so try to eat the peel of apples and pears. You can also make tasty high-fiber additions to soups and stews by adding peas, beans, or lentils.
LOOK FOR IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS
Make sure you eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your plate should look like a rainbow—bright, coloured foods are always the best choice! A healthy meal should include:
Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple)
Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, an important mineral as we age.