Diet and aging

Hopefully you enjoyed last week’s sweet treat recipe incorporating some of the foods recommended in last week’s blog. Last week took a look at how aging affects the brain, skin and hair; this week we are going to focus on bones, vision and hearing and what we can do to help these organs.

How are bones affected by aging?

As we age, bone strength progressively starts to deteriorate. The friction between joints increases due to a loss of lubrication, causing pain. The bones become porous and there is a continuous loss of density.

Bones are reservoirs of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, but during the process of aging, there is a typical depletion of these minerals making bones fragile and weak.

What nutrients can help…

The most common ones are calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium. Alkalising the body is also important to maintain bone health. We have previous blogs explaining alkalising in depth, as well as some great recipes.

Some dietary sources of:

Calcium:

  • Tahini
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Tofu
  • Almonds
  • Dried herbs

Magnesium:

  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Soy beans

Vitamin D:

  • Eggs
  • Sunlight

Potassium:

  • Banana
  • White beans
  • Spinach

How is Vision affected by age?

As we age the retina of the eyes become thinner, long distance vision is generally impaired and objects at a distance appear blurred. The pupils become less responsive and more sensitive to glare and the eye can alter in colour.

What can we do to help…

Try to avoid straining the eyes by staring at the computer screen or reading in dim lighting.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat and sugar can be detrimental to the eyes, on the other hand, diets high in antioxidants, Omega 3s, lutein, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E can help protect the eyes.

Lutein

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Vitamin C

  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin E

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Almonds

How is Hearing affected by age?

Aging generally results in hearing loss, the eardrums thicken, making hearing more difficult than usual. Also the constant exposure to loud noise over a lifetime can lead to permanent damage of ear cells.

What can we do to help…

There are myriads of ways to maintain healthy hearing. Protecting your ears from continued hazardous noise exposure and keeping ear infections at bay are certainly fundamental.

Eating an overall healthy diet is also important, some nutrients important for the ears are, Vitamin A, B1, Magnesium, potassium, zinc, antioxidants and omega 3s.

Some examples of these foods include:

Vitamin A

  • Kale
  • Papaya
  • Paprika

B1

  • Beans
  • Tahini
  • Pork

Zinc

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Oysters
  • Beef

Antioxidants

  • Blueberries
  • Goji berries
  • Dark chocolate

Next week we will take a look at how the heart is affected and how we can help healthy aging overall.

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