Did you know seniors need more fiber in their diets than younger people? Adding fiber to your diet can improve your digestive health and relieve many typical senior ailments. What is the importance of fiber for seniors, and how can you ensure you have enough of it on your plate?
The Importance of Fiber for Seniors
Have you noticed that you’ve developed some digestive issues in your golden years? Unfortunately, problems like constipation and heartburn are common for seniors, which is why many doctors recommend increasing your fiber intake once you reach your golden years. But why is fiber so important to senior diets? What is the importance of fiber for seniors?
What Is Fiber?
If you need to add fiber to your diet, it’s helpful to understand where it comes from. Fiber is any carbohydrate that doesn’t break down in your digestive system after you eat it. These complex carbohydrates are typically found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains. Because these carbohydrates don’t dissolve during the digestive process, they travel through your digestive tract and help push waste out of your body.
Why Do Seniors Need More Fiber?
You aren’t alone if you think you may not be getting enough fiber in your diet. Most Americans do not eat enough fiber and often contend with mild digestive problems as a result. So why does lacking fiber become a more significant issue as you age? As the body ages, metabolism slows down, making digestion more difficult. Fiber allows your body to fully complete digestion, efficiently removing waste and helping you absorb the nutrients you need from your meal. Increasing fiber intake in your diet can also improve your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and all kinds of other digestive ailments.
How Can I Get All the Fiber I Need?
The importance of fiber for seniors is evident, so how can you ensure your diet has the fiber you need? If you’re a man over 51, you should consume at least 28 grams of fiber a day. If you’re a woman of the same age, you should consume at least 23 grams of fiber daily. Most seniors can get all the fiber they need with some simple diet tweaks and lifestyle changes:
- If you need to increase your fiber intake dramatically, start slow. Too much fiber at once can hurt your stomach if your body isn’t used to processing it. Add fiber to your diet slowly over a few weeks.
- Look for places in your diet where you can add fiber easily. For example, fruits and vegetables make great fiber-rich snacks between meals.
- Be sure to drink lots of water as you increase your fiber intake. This will help your body process the fiber correctly and aid in the process of digestion.
- If you aren’t sure how to safely increase your fiber intake to the level you require, talk to your doctor. They can recommend dietary changes and fiber supplements that will help. It’s essential to speak with your doctor before starting a fiber supplement and to follow the directions carefully to avoid discomfort.
The importance of fiber for seniors is evident, so we prioritize healthy snacks and meals for residents at Hearthside Senior Living. Join us for dinner sometime!
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour to explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!