Statistics show that 70% of people will need senior living care if they reach the age of 65. By 2050, it’s estimated that 30 billion people will need care. It is very common for seniors to start to lose muscle mass as they age. This is part of the natural aging process, but it is important to focus on a healthy diet. Seniors at Inspired Living are provided with a rich diet to improve muscle strength. This helps them stay mobile and active even in their golden years. Keep reading to find out 7 foods to help build and keep muscles for seniors.
One part of a healthy diet for senior health is plenty of eggs. Eggs are high in protein and are considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods. A large egg will usually provide 6 g of protein and amino acids. Eggs are also full of healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins. The biggest benefit of eggs is that they are easy to prepare. They can be prepared in a variety of ways for a senior living community so that everyone is happy. Most seniors are also happy to eat eggs as this has always been a part of their diet.
2. Dairy Products
It is very common for seniors in memory care to start to lose fat and muscle. They may not be eating as much and struggle to keep the weight on. Dairy products should be a big part of their diet as a protein source. Some dairy products like milk and cheese are full of healthy fats and protein. Other dairy products like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt have large amounts of protein. This allows seniors to get a large amount of protein in just one serving. It is also very easy to get seniors to eat dairy products. They may enjoy a glass of milk with a cookie. Or they can have cheese on their sandwiches or crackers. There are plenty of dairy product options, so everyone will stay interested in their food.
Keeping muscles can be difficult when your appetite changes as well as your body. This is one of the biggest risks that seniors face as they start to get around in their 80s and 90s. The best food to help counteract this is meat for its large protein content. Most meats provide 7g of protein per ounce of meat. The only downside to this is that meat can be difficult for seniors to enjoy. They may have a hard time chewing meat, or it could be difficult for them to digest. A way to counteract this is to use ground meat or soft meats like chicken. You can create tacos, pasta, and casseroles with a variety of meats to help build and keep muscles.
A healthy diet for seniors should include fish. You should particularly focus on fatty fish that have plenty of heart health benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fish are also rich in protein and have a softer consistency than meat. Some of the best types of fish are tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Fish is easy to pair with other sides, making it perfect for a senior living community. It is also a light dish that is perfect for seniors who do not have a robust appetite.
Seniors who need better muscle strength should have a diet that includes beans. Beans are protein-packed and provide important fiber to help with the digestive tract. Beans can help to increase their protein intake for better muscle retention. They are also a good option for those who struggle with constipation from the addition of fiber. This is a very versatile food that can be added to just about any recipe. Beans are especially tasty in soups, casseroles, and purées.
Another food source that is high in protein is nuts. Nuts are known to be protein and fat-rich, providing plenty of health benefits for seniors. Nuts also make a great snack for seniors who enjoy eating between meals. The only downside to this food is that nuts are quite hard and crunchy. This can be difficult to chew for seniors who do not have all of their teeth. One way to get around this is to use nut butter instead of whole nuts. You can use peanut butter or almond butter in sandwiches or smear it on apple slices. This makes a tasty snack that is full of nutritional benefits to help round out their diet.
7. Protein Powder
Seniors who struggle to put on muscle may benefit from protein powder. Whole foods are always going to be preferred, but sometimes they aren’t always realistic. Seniors may not be able to eat enough food to increase their protein intake. They may also not have an appetite for these foods high in protein. If this is the case, protein powder is a great substitute in their diet. This powder can be made into shakes or added to milk as a nutritional drink. You can even add protein powder to things like oatmeal or yogurt. This powder comes in a variety of flavors, so the majority of seniors will enjoy eating it.
Inspired Living: Senior Living Foods for Muscle
At Inspired Living, it is our goal to make sure our senior living members are well taken care of. This includes making sure their diet provides foods to help build and keep muscles. As people get older, it becomes harder to tick off those nutritional boxes. That is why it is important to focus on muscle-building foods to help them maintain their strength. Are you or a loved one interested in learning more about our luxury senior living communities? Contact us today at Inspired Living to schedule a tour of our facilities.