Essential nutrients for the elderly

According to a study, 70% of ageing is explained by the environment and only 30% by genes. Therefore, nutrition and lifestyle play a major role in ageing well. Ageing should not be considered as a disease but as a weakening of the body in the face of the environment. How can we age well, without pathology or disability, while maintaining our physical and cognitive faculties? This is the challenge that modern medicine must take up. In the ageing process, it turns out that nutrition plays an essential role. Optimal nutrition is one of the most accessible modifiable factors to modulate ageing and above all to allow the prevention of bad ageing, starting with a healthy lifestyle and a targeted diet. The hydration of the elderly is the first point to be monitored. Drinking contributes more than a litre to the body's needs and food provides the remaining litre. A drop in food consumption frequently observed in the elderly is closely linked to a drop in hydration. Nutritionists recommend the use of hydration units, i.e., for example, one yoghurt is considered to be equivalent to one glass of water in terms of hydration. Priority should be given to a sufficiently hydrating diet, particularly rich in fruit and vegetables and offering attractive drinks such as fruit juices to older people. Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass. It is essential to eat proteins such as meat, eggs, dairy products and fish and to maintain physical activity with at least 30 minutes of walking daily. If protein intake is reduced, it is only re-synthesised at the expense of certain tissues, particularly muscle. However, the reduction in muscle mass through sarcopenia, a reduction in muscle mass, represents a risk factor for the frailty of the elderly. It is essential for the elderly to have a balanced diet, to eat a variety of foods, without monotony, which is the main cause of the worsening of the physiological loss of taste. The minimum calorie intake for an elderly person is 1500 Kcal/day. Furthermore, it is important not to neglect the various vitamins and minerals, the necessary level of which can only be reached, in particular to ensure cognitive and immune functions, if the daily food intake is reached (1,500 kcal/day), which also includes essential fatty acids, such as omega-3.

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