Sunita, an IT professional, is always worried about her 65 year old mother, who stays alone in an apartment close by. “I worry because ma’s appetite has gone down, and she is not getting complete nutrition. “ As we grow older, our parentsare not getting any younger and like Sunita, we face the concerns for caring for them. Nutrition plays an important role in helping us maintain our health in the normal aging process and also in controlling the risk factors leading to lifestyle related diseases. Good diet enriched with all the vital nutrients leads to longer and healthier life of the older adult. Eggs with high nutrient and protein content are suitable for older adults. Moreover eggs are an excellent source of all the 9 essential nutrients which senior citizens require. Here‘s the list:
Vitamin B12 deficiencycan affect overall immunity and nervous system as well as energy levels in the body. Senior citizens who lack vitamin B-12 are prone to heart diseases, breast cancer and some age related muscular degeneration. One serving of egg contains 33% Vitamin B12. Best part is eggs can be easily adopted to suit the fussy senior citizens palate.
A study in Australia showed that folic acid and Vitamin B12 can help to prevent memory loss in people over 60. Folate or folic acid areessentially from the vitamin B family. Folate occurs naturally in foods while folic acid is a synthetic form found in fortified foods like cereals. RDA for folate is 400 micrograms per day for women and men over 51. One serving of Eggs contains24% of Folate.
As we all know, we need calcium for building and maintaining strong bones and strong teeth. Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones and fractures and evenosteoporosis in women. A standard egg contains 25 milligrams
of calcium which is almost 2.6% of Recommended Daily Value.
Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. It has also known to protect against number of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can be overcome naturally by sufficient amount of exposure to sunlight, but this is not always possible. It can also be sourced from eggs, which contain approximately 50 IU
most of which is concentrated in yolk.
Proteins are considered basic building blocks and are essential nutrient across ages. We need protein for energy and for repairing tissues and skeletal strength. The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, is 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight, regardless of age. One standard egg contains 6 grams of protein and is approximately 12% of the daily protein requirement for an average person of 61 kgs.
Omegas 3 are essential fatty acids and are important for us because they have a positive impact on the inflammatory process. These fatty acids help to reduce body’s inflammation and prevent chronic diseases like heart diseases and arthritis. Some new evidence also points to beneficial effect on reducing Alzheimer’s disease. One omega-3 egg typically contains 340 milligrams of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) and 75 to 100 milligrams of DHA(docosahexaenoic acid).
So now that you know what your senior adult requires you can think of new and appetizing egg recipes to coax him or her into eating the beneficial and delicious ovals of nutrition. However, like any sensible person, do consult your regular doctor before making changes to the diet.