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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nutrition Advice for Aging and Illness

Dietary guidelines- Ageing & Recovery After Illness

The following guidelines are from various presentations I have given on health, fitness, athletic conditioning and rehabilitation. Please refer to the additional nutrition guidelines that appear on this website and in many of my E-Publications and Blog postings for additional and very relevant nutritional advice.

An apology
Please accept my apologies in advance for lumping ageing and illness together. Of course, ageing is not an illness! However, many of the guidelines for both are similar enough that I have decided to put them together to avoid unnecessary repetition.

Recovering from ill-health
There is good evidence that you will weather a period of ill health and recover more rapidly and more completely by following the nutrition guidelines outlined in this paper & supplementing your daily diet. Additional nutritients may be required if on medications that may interfere with absorption or use of them:
  • Additional vitamin E
  • Additional vitamin C
  • Additional B vitamins
  • Vitamin D from sunlight is essential when ill.
  • Fish oil (up to 2 grams per day) and other oil like flaxseed oil that are all rich in Omega 3 oil
  • Whey protein
  • Chelated mineral supplement
  • Other supplements according to special need

The Super Smoothie recipe will provide many of these ingredients in a palatable form. You might try the Smoothie as a breakfast meal and as a meal supplement.

Supplement this nutrient-rich diet with appropriate exercise such as a daily walk and the use of an exercise device like the Myotec Pocket Gym. Exercise promotes healthy circulation and improves the uptake and use of these extra nutrients by your body. Have your health professional guide you as to what is appropriate exercise when ill or injured. If ill, exercise should not exhaust – and there are times when it is simply best for your body to rest up – listen to your body.

As we get older...

... our need for a nutrient-rich diet grows – not diminishes

We need to care for our bodies with a nutrient-rich diet as we get older because:
  • Our bodies are frailer, less resilient and may already be carrying the legacy of a mis-spent youth
  • Our skin's ability to manufacture essential vitmain D is reduced and we may be spending less time exposing skin outdoors.
  • Our ability to uptake and use many nutrients is diminishing and this may be complicated by medications
  • We may already have health problems that cause added demand for various nutrients
  • We eat less due to lowered activity and reducing metabolism

Did you know that as many as 70% of the institutionalised elderly may be suffering from malnutrition and as many as 10% of the non-institutionalised elderly population may be malnourished?

How do exercise and diet inter-act?
  • If our daily calorie intake falls below about 1,500 calories, we are at risk of malnutrition
  • Exercise boosts calorie output
  • The more we exercise – the more we can eat
  • Exercise stimulates the appetite
  • People who exercise tend to eat more nutritious foods

Your diet should include a mix of these:
  • Fresh fruit and veges (emphasise ones with lots of colour in the flesh)
  • Lean red meat
  • Fish twice a week instead of meat
  • Some dairy products
  • Whole grain breads
  • Nuts & dried fruits
  • Beans and peas
  • Yeast extract (Marmite/Vegemite) – two small dollops a day
No junk food – unless exercising daily! Favour organic, pesticide & herbicide – free foods

What is this anti-oxidant thing?

We are prone to rusting (oxidation) – If a molecule or atom has spare electrons (Sometimes called a “free radical”), it will look for something to share or give its electrons. This is oxidation. Oxidation is active in our bodies.

Anti-oxidants mop up surplus electrons before they do damage to our bodies, principally by speeding the degradation of our genetic material. If we slow the rusting, by reducing the production of free radicals and increasing the supply of anti-ocidants, we slow how quickly we wear out (age). The research evidence is growing all the time that anti-oxidants work - they are important for general good health.

High anti-oxidant foods - eat more of these:
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh veges
  • Go for colourful fleshed fruit and veges
  • Most vitamins and some minerals
  • Cold pressed vegetable oils
  • Raisins, prunes – dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Yeast extracts - Marmite/Vegemite

Damaging foods - eat less or none of these:
  • Fatty meat
  • Fatty foods
  • Foods containing trans-fatty acids
  • Refined flour foods
  • Commercially salted foods (add sea salt, which has a full range of minerals, to your food instead)
  • Sugary foods
  • Fast foods
  • Refined or processed foods
  • Foods high in preservatives and other additives
  • Over-cooked foods – especially at very high temperatures
  • Stale or rancid foods
  • Anything that is not fresh
  • Alcohol

1 comment:

Wayne said...

its debateable you can eat more when you start exercising. a study of runners in america doing 80k's a week showed that they werent eating any more than people who didnt have an exercise regime.
we are more efficient at digesting the food we eat when whe exercise and when sitting idle we are over aware of our appetite, people overeat out of boredome and to try and raise flagging energy which may as much be to do with poor lifestyle such as poor diet choice and lack of exercise. people who exercise regularly are more likely to pay attention to eating a more well rounded diet. a well rounded diet means you dont get as hungry as quickly as you do when you eat empty calories or sugary food which over stimulates the appetite to eat too many calories.