As the body ages, the digestive system stops functioning as well as it once did. Motility slows, meaning that food moves through the intestines slowly, and constipation and poor absorption of nutrients become commonplace for many. At Naples Home Care Assistance, we know that dietary fiber is one natural way to fight against these problems, and it can be easily added to any ordinary diet in these five simple ways.
- Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and are often a good choice for seniors because many of them are soft and easy to chew. Oatmeal, which can be easily prepared each morning for breakfast can be enjoyed with a little milk for dairy and a topping of fresh fruit for a delightful mix of antioxidants to make this a well-rounded meal.
- Another common source of dietary fiber is in vegetables. Green peas are very high in fiber with over 8 grams of fiber per cup. These vegetable are delicious to eat on their own or can be added to a variety of meals, such as soups, pasta and casseroles.
- A third option that many seniors and caregivers do not think of is a baked potato. As long as the skin is eaten with the potato, seniors can gain 3 grams of fiber even from a small potato. Plus, they’re easy to prepare and can be cooked fully in a matter of minutes using the microwave.
- Fresh fruits also offer a great deal of fiber in a deliciously sweet package. Apples in particular when eaten with the skin, provides over 4 grams of fiber each. They also come in an array of flavors, from sweet to sour and are a great for a morning or afternoon snack.
- Seniors can also enjoy a handful of raspberries for a dose of fiber because a cup of these has 8 grams of fiber. Plus, raspberries are known to have powerful antioxidant qualities that have been linked to a reduced risk for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
With so many choices in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits categories, seniors have an array of food options that will give them plenty of fiber without breaking the bank. Besides decreasing chronic constipation, dietary fiber may also decrease cholesterol when it is eaten regularly.
As always, seniors should check with their physicians to find out how much fiber would be best for them. And if your loved one needs help with meal planning, preparation or carrying out a nutritious meal plan, contact Home Care Assistance today. Our approach to senior care, The Balanced Care Method™, includes a healthy and balanced diet and helps make sure that seniors get the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for overall wellness and longevity.
Interested in finding out more about in-home senior care? Request free information or a complimentary consultation and learn more about live-in and hourly care services for Naples seniors by calling (239) 449-4701 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.