Weak elderly people have dietary needs that must be met to maintain a quality life that is reasonably free from illness. A proper diet can contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, anemia and constipation, as well as other serious problems. Taking in the proper vitamins, minerals and fiber is essential for good health. Additionally, water, which is nutrient free, is a life-sustaining substance for which weak elderly people have a greater-than-average need.
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Weak elderly individuals should consider taking in supplemental vitamins D and B-12. Both of these vitamins are essential to good health. Vitamin D increases bone density to help maintain their integrity. The diets of senior citizens should be supplemented with vitamin B-12 because of their lessened ability to absorb B-12 from food. Minerals that are an essential part of an elderly diet include: calcium, magnesium and iron. Calcium helps protect against fractures, magnesium offers some protection for those at cardiac risk and iron helps protect the body against anemia, which is essential for an already weak elderly individual to stay healthy and strong.
Fiber helps facilitate the movement of waste materials through the body. As people age, the digestive system tends to get sluggish, partially because of the reduced ability of the body to regulate water retention. With enough water, the system slows. Fiber helps the intestines retain water and prevent excess absorption. Constipation can further complicate the health issues of a weak elderly individual. Fiber also lowers cholesterol and might help decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.
Protein is an essential part of the elderly individual's diet. As people age, protein is vital to maintain good health. The need for protein is even greater if an individual is weak or ill, as protein facilitates healing. It is also an important part of the ability to maintain muscle mass and retain elasticity in the skin.
Grains are an essential part of the healthy diet of a weak elderly person. An added bonus is that grains are naturally low in fat and high in fiber. Grains provide complex carbohydrates, the body's main fuel source. Ingesting an adequate amount of complex carbs in the form of grains will facilitate good health, regardless of age or condition of health. Additionally, grains help protect against disease, including cardiovascular disease.
Water is one of the most important beverages for people of any age. However, water is especially important for senior citizens who are weak, due to illness or lack of proper nutrition. Failure to get enough water can result in constipation, confusion and urinary tract infections. Sipping water during the day and even setting a specific amount per day are good ideas. Some foods that contain a large amount of water, such as fruits, might help a senior citizen achieve his daily goal.