Aging Well – Belmont Village Offers Nutritional Insights for Better Living

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“You are what you eat.”  It’s something that bears repeating, says Belmont Village Senior Living.  “Proper nutrition is even more important for mental and physical health as we age,” said Jan Boatright, executive director, Belmont Village Johns Creek. 

Diet, long recognized as key to managing energy levels, also helps to combat a number of diseases - diabetes, heart disease, and even arthritis. Studies show that food choices can affect the inflammation responsible for joint pain and tissue damage.

Refined, processed, and manufactured foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, carbohydrates and additives support the production of inflammation-producing substances in the body.  However, anti-oxidants found in extra-virgin olive oil, certain fruits and vegetables, and the omega-3 fatty acids that come from oily fish are good for joints and heart. 

“Changes in lifestyle, taste, and health as we age can have a negative affect on diet,” said Boatright.  “If a family member is experiencing problems that interfere with nutrition, it’s time to consider a higher level of support.”

Common causes of nutritional issues:

  • Loneliness—Feelings of isolation heighten at mealtimes when dining alone and may lead to avoidance, especially for the recently single.
  • Physical Problems—Difficulty chewing, gastrointestinal disturbances, or reactions to medicines can cause food avoidance.
  • Health Issues—Special dietary needs or health conditions can complicate meal prep or make food less tasteful, leading to poor choices or reduced appetite.

“It’s important to offer a variety of tastes, colors and textures at every meal—Belmont Village residents choose from 20+ items every day,” said Nancy Graves, EdD, Belmont Village research partner and professor for the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston.

Providing the right foods isn’t the only factor in helping older adults maintain good eating habits, according to Graves. “Mobility and movement issues can be a deterrent to dining. Even choices in tableware and furnishings should be considered when planning for seniors – getting them to the table and providing a positive dining experience will keep them coming back for more.”

For more information about Belmont Village Senior Living call 770-813-9505 or visit www.belmontvillage.com.