Elderly Nutrition and Supplement Use, 9 Caregiver Tips
Is Food-Sourced Vitamins Sufficient for Elderly Diet and Health Needs in Covid 19 Era? A Review of Medical Findings that Might Change Caregiver Perspective
Diet, as one of the most important health-related habits, has been linked to a variety of disparities in health. Variations in vitamin status due to diet can be especially important in the elderly. As people age, their strength declines, resulting in less food consumption, despite the fact that they require the most micronutrients. As a result, many elderly people are at risk of developing clinical and subclinical nutritional deficiencies, which can be heartbreaking if you are a conscientious caregiver who wants your Mom, Dad, or Grandma to be healthy and happy.
Recently, there has been a lot of focus on food-sourced vitamins, and numerous studies have been conducted to uncover the significance of vitamin status, various assessment methods, and diet and supplementation in maintaining a senior society.
A large number of studies have been conducted on how to reverse the ageing process, the use of weight-loss plans, lifestyle modelling, the balance of meals and nutritional dietary supplements for seniors, the importance of food regimen and meal intake in age-related macular degeneration, and the relationship between nutritional supplement use, nutrient intake, and mortality in older adults. Every day, new medical and health articles are published throughout the world, and you are inundated with information and unsure how to respond to the most recent publication.
Now, I’d like to share a summary of findings from to latest article published in “Nutrient” and “PeerJ” between September 2020 and September 2021.
What do We call It Nutrient?
Nutrients are vital components of the human body that play a variety of physiological purposes. They play a supporting function in the manufacture of body chemical compounds, hormones, genetic materials, and body organs.
The breakdown of nutrients, when compared to varying levels of macronutrients like protein, glucose, and fats, does not provide the body with a lot of energy or structural capacities. Rather, extremely little amounts are needed to help with specific skills and metabolic integrity.
Vitamins: Classification, Intake, Ingestion and Absorption? What Medical Studies Say?
Vitamins are compounds that our bodies desire to expand and have a common characteristic. In a nutshell, nutrients are classified as fat-soluble or water-soluble based only on their ability to absorb fats or water, as well as their physiological relevance.
Vitamins have become extremely important in terms of public health. In fact, there is a surge in information relating to their physiological characteristics and related indications of dietary deficits. Because the consequences of vitamin and trace element shortages are not often evident, unlike carbohydrate and protein insufficiency, what has been seen is a hidden famine.
There is no single diet that provides all of the nutrients, and deficiencies are caused by insufficient or suboptimal nutritional intake. This means that different meals are required to suit the human body's nutritional needs. Notably, the appearance of food malnutrition in a person can be a sign of nutrition insufficiency, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor dietary intake as well as factors that affect vitamin absorption. A hereditary issue in transport molecules, intestinal sickness, interactions with positive tablets and a few meal components, and excessive alcohol use can all occur from insufficient intake of nutrition-rich substances.
In a nutshell, nutrient absorption begins with the chewing of consumed meals, where enzymes begin to work from the mouth, and continues with ongoing churning and mixing with other chemical elements in the stomach. The churning food comes into contact with the small gut, which is the body's nutrient absorption centre.
Furthermore, water-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls, whereas fat-soluble nutrients are absorbed through bile salt, fatty acids and phospholipids.
Metabolic Capabilities and Resources of Nutrients
Indeed, nutrients play important roles in our bodies' physiological systems and execute specific metabolic functions that are influenced by their chemical reactivity and mobile or tissue distribution. The various functions of vitamins form the foundation for their importance in health and vitamins.
The metabolic functions of nutrients are often divided into five categories.
- First is antioxidants like vitamins A and E.
- Second is coenzymes and amongst them are vitamins A, K, C and some of group B like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B1.
- Third group is hormones like vitamins A and D.
- Fourth group is electron donors/acceptors and examples from that are some of group B like B5, B3, B2 and then K and C).
- Fifth are gene transcription elements.
While most nutrients require metabolic activation or conversion to perform their physiological functions in organic systems, only a few vitamins work without any metabolic conversion or association with an enzyme.
Some vitamins, such as B1, B9(Folic Acid), B12(Cobalamin), and K2, are generated by intestinal bacteria in the colon, whereas others are found in plants, animals, or both. Furthermore, several vitamins are created in different amounts within the frame, most likely by metabolic transformation from amino acids and/or directly produced by the skin.
In most cases, the nutrients generated by the body are insufficient to meet daily needs, necessitating extra nutritional consumption in the form of supplements. Furthermore, the amount of vitamins in food varies depending on its source, shape, farming metrics, distribution methods, and methodology, among other aspects.
What is Caregiver Takeaway and Tips
No single meal can provide all of the nutrients we require, resulting in insufficient or suboptimal vitamin consumption, which can contribute to vitamin deficiencies in older adults. It signifies the role of a larger number of meals, well-planned diverse sources of foods and ingredients as well as well-researched supplementation for the daily required minimum doses of each vitamin and element.
In summary, the elderly are at a higher risk of vitamin deficiency. Caregivers may be able to reduce inadequate intake, ingestion, and nutritional inequity by changing their food regimen and supplementation because diet plays such an important role in their vitamin status.
Caregiver Tips for Senior Diet
1. Start the day on smoothies with sweet fruits, but add in leafy vegetables, avocado and other vitamins and minerals you want to give them. The smoothie flavour will overpower the other flavours! haha!
2. When they asked for something sweet introduce them to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which are especially beneficial to the heart.
3. Make their favourite foods, but experiment with healthier cooking methods and ingredient substitutions! Use an air fryer to make fried chicken, experiment with coconut or almond flour, sweeten things with agave or honey.
4.Make healthy snacks throughout the day for your elderly loved ones
5. Have a checklist for signs of malnutrition and do it once in a while.
As a caregiver for a senior, whether you see them every day or only check in on them on a regular basis, here are some signs of malnutrition to look out for:
- A decrease in appetite or thirst
- Increased irritability or depression
- Increased exhaustion
- Frequent illness
- Longer recovery times from injury
6. Understand their dietary requirements in relation to their medical conditions.
7. Use supplements to supplement what they don't get from their diet.
8. Look for healthy meal delivery services and meal plans.
9. Assist them in locating community resources for food access.