Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, vitality and quality of life. But what causes changes in these nutritional needs?
Our body goes through drastic and dramatic changes as we age. As one can imagine, this means the very definition of nutritional food changes, and you have to be even more careful of the nutritional value of everything you include in your diet.
The main three reasons seniors have to be more ware of nutritional facts is changes brought around by physiological, perceptual and general age-related conditions — such as dental or gastrointestinal conditions. These changes all influence the performance of our body as a whole, which in turn, influences our eating, nutritional intake and overall health.
One reason nutrition food changes are impertinent is because of physiological changes due to aging. Energy expenditure generally decreases with advancing age, basal metabolic rate and physical activity reduces, thus decreasing our caloric needs. Our bodies also begin to experience a decrease in kidney function, re-distribution of body composition and changes in our nervous system.
Perceptual changes have a deep impact on nutritional facts too. Changes in hearing, taste, smell and vision will mean you will face a change in your nutritional needs. As taste buds start to decline, so does our taste for salty and sweet — often times making food taste bitter or sour.
Diminished or loss of hearing also affects our nutrition and food experience. And the loss of smell can also have a huge impact on the types of food one chooses to eat as there is a loss of satisfaction, lead to poor food choices.
Other Ageing-Related Changes
Other changes in body function may impact nutrition too — such as loss of teeth, uncomfortable dentures, gastrointestinal changes and frequent indigestion. As your body now needs a light, healthy diet, it becomes easier to just ignore healthy nutrition food. This becomes particularly common among seniors who avoid healthy fruits and vegetables as they can contribute towards gas and constipation.
Clearly nutrition plays a vital role in the quality of life in older persons. This is why preventative medicine and focusing on good eating habits is crucial.