Health Tips for Senior Citizen

Health Tips for Senior Citizen

Older and Wiser about Diet - Good nutrition is key to maintaining your health and independence as we age. However, the nutrients we need to keep us healthy and strong in our seventies are different from those we needed as teenagers. Many older people eat less food. However, it's important that the food they eat is rich in the nutrients they need.

Getting the most form your diet - Because many people find their appetite naturally decreases as they get older, it can be difficult to get all the essential nutrients you need through diet alone. In these situations, a multivitamin and mineral supplement can be very useful. Older people typically take more prescription drugs than younger people, so it's also important to know that some foods can effect the absorption of drugs. If you take herbal supplements, ask your healthcare professional about how they might interact with other medications you may be on and always tell your doctor what supplements you are taking.

Maintaining a Healthy Heart - The human heart is about the size of a clenched fist. It is located under the breastbone between the lungs (just left of centre) and is made up of four chambers. Blood flows through these chambers in a pattern that supplies all parts of the body with oxygenated blood and returns blood to the lungs for re-oxygenation.

There are two types of blood vessels - arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart and are elastic, which enables them to withstand the pressure of blood being pumped with great force. Veins carry blood back to the heart. By the time blood reaches the veins, blood pressure has dropped. Veins are not elastic, but have small valves that keep the de-oxygenated blood from flowing backwards. When kept healthy and strong, the body's network of veins and arteries should work as efficiently in an older body as a younger one.

Take good care of your heart - The body's ingenious design means skin, muscle and a sturdy ribcage protects the heart from injury. The real risk to the health of our health comes not from injury, but form failing to take proper care of this vital organ. Happily, maintaining a healthy heart is relatively simple, and it's never too late to start.

Do you smoke? IF you do, the first step is to quit. Even occasional smoking has been proven to be detrimental to the health of your heart. Regular exercise is essential to help maintain weight and keep the heart strong (it is, after all, a muscle). It is also important to limit fats in the diet - particularly animal fats derived from meat and full-fat dairy foods.

Eat like the Greeks - Enjoying health to a ripe old age is common in many Mediterranean communities where diet is based on olive oil, vegetables, fish, nuts, fruits, grains and pulses. Many doctors and naturopaths believe that it's the low levels of cholesterol that make the Mediterranean diet an excellent model for those wishing to maintain their cardiovascular health.

Includes in your die -

- Seasonal fresh vegetables - especially leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini, onions, red and white cabbage, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

- Fresh fruit - rich in antioxidants.

- Fish - particularly oily varieties such as sardines, mackerel and salmon.

- Fresh herbs - especially parsley, mint, basil, thyme, coriander, oregano and dill.

- Wholegrain cereals - brown rice, oats, wholemeal bread and pasta, millet, buckwheat and barley.

- Lean meat, chicken and eggs

- Nuts and seeds - small amounts of almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

- Sea vegetables - nori, arame and wakame. Look for them in health food shops.

- Soy foods - tofu and tempeh.

Keep to a minimum:

- Full-fat dairy foods.

- Refined white flour products - white bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes.

- Salt

- Saturated fats- butter, matured cheeses, fatty meats and fried foods.

Keep your heart strong with exercise - Exercise is extremely important for the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system. In addition to keeping the heart itself strong, exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, which reduces pressure on the heart. You don't need to become a gym junkie. A brisk 30-minutes walk at least three times a week can make a huge difference to your health.

Supplement with CoQ10 - CoQ10 occurs naturally in the body and levels decline with age. A CoQ10 supplement assists in maintaining a healthy heart, in particularly the function of the heart muscle. CoQ10 has also been shown to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

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