National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that encourages every individual to take a balanced diet and exercise. Observed by many people during the month of March, National Nutrition Month helps everyone become aware of the importance of good nutrition and healthful eating and physical activity habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics also recommends that people celebrate this month and address their eating habits to live healthier and happier lives.
2021 Nutrition Month Theme
Every year, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honors the month with a unique theme. “Go Further with Food”, “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, and “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” have been the themes in the past years. This makes observing the National Nutrition Month fun rather than a burdensome task.
For this year, The Academy has decided to keep “Personalize Your Plate” as the theme. This promotes a unique, personalized approach to nutrition and health; in other words, creating healthy meals based on the individual’s personal food preferences, body, and culture. The Academy motivates everyone to make informed food choices rather than being driven by cravings and temptations and develop sound eating habits as well as a suitable workout routine.
Why is Nutrition Month essential for seniors?
Though people of all ages are welcome to celebrate National Nutrition Month as healthy eating is essential in all stages of life, the celebration of this month is especially recommended for older people.
As nutrition has a significant impact on the physical and mental well-being of older adults, this month almost becomes a MUST for them. It will help them focus on their eating habits, helping them live a healthy lifestyle as they age. Senior nutrition is often neglected, but it should be the primary focus of families that have older adults as nutrition will not only help their older loved ones to be physically fit but will enhance their mental and memory functions.
Surprisingly, seniors are susceptible to malnutrition. This is because their metabolism slows down with age, and their appetite decreases. And as people age, their body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients also decreases. This can lead to weakness and impact physical mobility as well as mental functions.
But when adults take a proper, balanced diet, they are less prone to developing diseases that usually accompany aging. Adequate nutrition helps their organs, such as eyes, kidneys, and liver, function normally, and their cognitive ability also remains unimpaired.
A meal full of proteins, vitamins, calcium, and other vital nutrients also helps older people manage chronic illnesses such as blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. Proper eating also strengthens the immune system, which promotes proper healing. Finally, healthy eating habits keep bones and muscles strong, preventing fractures and helps to maintain mobility, posture, and flexibility.
These are abundant benefits that older people receive from taking a healthy diet. Thus, encourage your loved ones to eat healthy, not only in March but all year round, so that they stay fit and fine despite their growing age.
For more insight, take a look at 5 Reasons to Eat With the Seasons: the Benefits of Seasonal Produce.