Importance of Protein for Seniors: A Vital Nutrient for Healthy Aging
For sustaining health and enhancing the quality of life as we age, it is even more important to prioritize a diet rich in essential nutrients. While there are many different supplements on the market, eating whole foods and complete meals that contain the vitamins and nutrients that help to improve your health is the best method to get the nourishment you need.
One of the most important nutrients is protein. It aids in keeping our body busy and helps us retain muscle mass. Ageing reduces the body’s energy and immunity in addition to wearing down tissue. As a result, it’s crucial to consume a diet high in protein because it helps with both cell growth and repair.
In this article, we will be talking about how ageing affects your nutritional needs and why it is important to understand the importance of Protein.
Role of Protein in Ageing
Protein is essential for older adults and must be included in everyone’s healthy diet for the following reasons:
- Tissue Repair and Cell Health: Proteins are vital for the growth and repair of tissues, including skin, tendons, and ligaments. They aid in the formation of new cells, ensuring the functioning and maintenance of the body
- Energy Source: While carbohydrates play a vital role in energy sources, protein can also provide energy when needed. It supplies the body with calories that help to fuel various physical and mental activities.
- Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Regulation: Protein-rich meals have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol levels. They provide a slower and more sustained release of energy, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar and promoting heart health.
- Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention: A high-protein diet can support bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis. Protein contributes to the formation and maintenance of bone tissue ensuring its strength and density.
- Stroke Risk Reduction: Research has shown that a diet-rich protein helps with lowering the risk of stroke. The intake of protein has been associated with reduced blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health, leading to a decreased risk of stroke occurrence.
- Muscle Development: Protein provides the necessary amino acids for muscle tissue repair and growth, helping to enhance strength and physical performance.
- Weight Management: A popular nutrient for weight loss due to its appetite-suppressant and fullness-promoting qualities. It aids in increasing satiety, reduces hungry cravings, and helps maintain muscle mass during calorie restriction.
How Much Protein Do Older Adults Need?
According to Health industry research, “The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Also, one way to calculate how much protein you should be consuming is to multiply your weight in kilograms by the recommended protein intake range of 1 to 1.2 grams: This will give you the protein range in grams per day.
For example: let’s consider a senior adult with a weight of 70 kilograms:
Protein range: 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight
Weight: 70 kilograms
- Recommended protein intake: 70 kg x 1 g/kg = 70 grams of protein per day
Best Sources of Protein
Protein is found in animal sources such as fish, chicken, and dairy. You also find high protein in plant sources, such as legumes and beans. One should keep in mind that it is always recommended to eat a variety of protein-rich foods such as beans, legumes, etc. Plant-based protein can also be considered as an alternative source of protein. Origin Nutrition has introduced Vegan Protein for Seniors which is made from clean, lean European Golden Peas with 9 superfoods, prebiotic fiber, 20 minerals, and minerals, and the cherry on top, it comes in strawberry flavour
However, speak with your doctor about what your needs are in terms of vitamins and nutrients from foods as every individual needs are very different and it’s always the best to make sure you and your body get only the best.