Malnutrition, or malnourishment, is a serious condition that aging individuals can face. Problems with joints, teeth, or the digestive system can make it difficult to obtain all of the nutrients that a body needs in order to function at peak efficiency, and the lack of nourishment that results is only going to make the problems worse over time. Fortunately, however, there are a number of easy ways to avoid malnutrition.
When food is difficult to chew, one of the most straightforward solutions is to, well, drink it. Smoothies are a delicious and simple way to get fresh fruit, yogurt, and even nuts or granola into your diet. Even better, it’s particularly simple to add supplements (like protein powder or vitamins) to a smoothie as a way of fortifying it and helping to get nutrients from foods that are more difficult to chew.
Another way to help prevent (or recover from) malnutrition is to exercise and strengthen your body. In most cases, active individuals don’t suffer from malnutrition simply because of the fact that they tend to eat on a regular basis as a way of supplying themselves with the fuel needed to enjoy their lifestyle.
Next, if you’d truly like to avoid malnutrition, consider volunteering to help with children, taking up a hobby, or getting more social interaction. Depression is one of the major causes of malnutrition in the elderly, where a negative view on life, fears about death, or even loneliness can contribute to a lack of appetite and no real interest in most events. However, a positive and active lifestyle can also increase your level of happiness and make you more interested in living which leads directly to increased appetite and a focus on doing things, rather than simply wasting away.
Finally, even with the best of intentions, it can be very easy to get malnourished on accident. The human body is an extremely complex mechanism, and its needs can change over time. Regular testing by a doctor can help identify nutrition levels and let you know what sorts of things you may be lacking in your diet. Once you know what the problem areas actually are, it’s usually much easier to correct them and maintain the appropriate level of nutrition.
In the end, the time-tested wisdom holds true no matter what age you’re actually at: if you eat right, and exercise right, then ultimately you’ll be more healthy overall.
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