Increasing dietary fiber consumption is important for people of all ages, but it’s especially important for seniors. Fiber is essential for controlling weight, avoiding several chronic diseases, and preserving gut health. With home care assistance providers and the support of loved ones, seniors can increase their intake of fiber through the following methods, as well as understand why fiber is necessary for their overall health.
Tips For Increasing the Amount of Fiber in Senior Diets
Healthy meal planning is something that the home care team can assist with, along with shopping for healthy foods, preparing them, and cooking them when needed. This is significant when seniors are faced with a change in their diets and are unsure where to start. The following tips provide a guide for loved ones and those providing home care assistance to consider when working to transition seniors’ diets.
Focus on Whole Grains: The team can promote the eating of whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread, by introducing seniors to new foods or new ways to cook old favorites. These grains offer long-lasting energy and are high in fiber.
Produce and Fruits: With home care assistance, seniors can explore a range of fruits and vegetables. These promote healthy digestion because they include both soluble and insoluble fiber. Carrots, broccoli, apples, and berries are great options.
Legumes: Legumes are another great option to increase fiber. However, they are also a food that seniors might not be familiar with, other than “traditional” beans. For instance, chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, have a high fiber content, and can be used in multiple ways.
Seeds and Nuts: One of the easiest ways to add fiber is to sprinkle seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds, as well as nuts like walnuts and almonds, on your meals and snacks. When considering this option, seniors should speak with their medical team because some seeds and nuts may exacerbate other conditions.
Smoothies: With home care assistance, seniors can learn to blend yogurt, fruits, and vegetables to make high-fiber smoothies. A great example is to use a handful of spinach or kale, both of which can greatly boost fiber.
If meeting daily requirements with food alone is difficult, seniors should discuss fiber supplements with a healthcare provider. In addition, they should focus on getting the appropriate daily intake of water. When the body has enough water, fiber promotes healthy digestion and helps avoid constipation more successfully.
Why Is Fiber Critical For Senior Health?
There are many reasons why fiber is essential for senior health. Fiber supports a healthy digestive tract, helps to maintain regular bowel motions, and prevents constipation. This is especially crucial for the elderly, as they may be more vulnerable to stomach problems. It’s also instrumental in helping seniors control their weight. Because high-fiber foods are frequently more satisfying, seniors who consume fewer calories overall may find it easier to manage their weight. Since metabolism tends to slow down with age, the addition of fiber might be the key to helping decrease excessive weight gain.
It’s also thought that foods high in soluble fiber, such as beans and oats, can aid in blood sugar regulation. Finally, there is evidence linking a high-fiber diet to a decreased risk of heart disease.
Encouraging seniors to eat a diet high in fiber is essential to their general health for many reasons, as noted above. With the help of home care assistance and loved ones, they can reach their fiber goals with ease.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Assistance Services in the Independence MO area, please contact the caring staff at Elder Care of Kansas City, today. Proudly serving Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in Missouri as well as Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas for over 30 years. Call us at 816-333-3322.
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