When thinking about the components of a healthy diet, many people overlook the importance of fiber. Fiber is known to lower cholesterol levels, control diabetes, and get rid of harmful toxins from the body. However, as people start to experience age-related changes in their gastrointestinal tract, the body has more trouble absorbing important nutrients such as fiber, leading to digestive issues such as constipation. How can this issue be solved? By adding more foods high in fiber!
Wheat and Grains
At Home Care Assistance of North Houston, our professional caregivers often prepare meals for their senior clients and increase the amount of fiber in each meal by serving high-fiber foods such as whole wheat breads, pastas, and rice, and reducing consumption of high-fat snacks. For example, a caregiver may switch white bread and rice to wheat bread and brown rice.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits, vegetables, and beans such as berries, chickpeas, lentils, broccoli, bananas, peas, and apples are also high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables contain a higher fiber content when they retain their skins. Research shows that seniors who start their day with meals such as whole-grain cereal or toast with high-fiber fruit often have less problems with their bowel movements. Drinking eight or more glasses of water a day also helps the body to better absorb fiber.
If your aging loved one still isn’t getting enough fiber in his or her diet, you may want to look for supplements with fiber. Although natural sources tend to be better sources of vitamins and nutrients, fiber supplements which come in powder, capsule, oil, or water form can be beneficial and easier to consume for seniors who experience a loss of appetite or problems chewing and swallowing.
According to North Houston senior care specialists, men over the age of 50 should get about 30 grams of fiber per day and women should get about 20 grams. When seniors consume excess amounts of fiber, it can become harder for the body to absorb other important nutrients such as zinc, calcium, and magnesium, all which are important for maintaining optimal health. Prior to making any changes in your loved one’s diet plan, schedule an appointment with his or her primary care physician to discuss any digestive issues and the best solutions for his or her individual needs.
Interested in learning more about senior nutrition? Call (832) 412-1345 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of North Houston. We are a trusted, in-home care agency offering hourly and live-in care in North Houston, helping seniors live healthy, happy lives at home. We look forward to hearing from you!