Special Concern: Vegetarianism for the Elderly (Nutrition Tips)

В развитых странах мира: Европе и США – всё больше пожилых людей в наши дни переходят на вегетарианство. 

This has a solid medical basis: it has been proven that the rejection of meat and meat products after 60 years:

Increases life expectancy

Statistically significant protection against heart attack

from a stroke

·       от ожирения и диабета,

as well as from a number of other fatal and serious diseases in advanced years.

It has also been proven that for the body of older people, meat is even harder than for young people: it is especially poorly digested in them. Therefore, many older people, having given up meat, forget about such painful problems as chronic constipation and increased gas formation.

According to American doctors, due to low awareness of healthy nutrition issues, a large percentage of the elderly population (and this is in “rich” countries!) Pathologically lacks such essential nutrients as:

vitamins, especially vitamins C and D,

· iron,

·       калий,

· folate,

· riboflavin,

· cellulose.

It is logical to assume that these substances are found in excess in a balanced plant-based diet: rich in vegetables and fruits! That is, vegan or vegetarian.

It is clear that the state of health is different, and a sharp, “from Monday”, transition to any new diet in old age is some stress. Let, rather, more even for the mind than for the body. But still, it is worth listening to the advice of Western nutritionists, and consider the possibility of gradually giving up meat – if you are over 50 or over 60!

It is worth mentioning right away the possible … dangers of such a decision. They are. But, do not worry: these are the same risks that any person takes on any diet: you need to monitor the intake of vitamins and nutrients, and nothing more. In detail, point by point, we analyze this issue in the paragraph below.

Strict and logical rules for refusing meat in old age:

·       Убедитесь, что ваш организм получает достаточно: протеина (белка), клетчатки, Омега-3 жиров, кальция, витаминов В6, В12 и D. «Получает» значит не просто что вы их едите, а что вы их усваиваете: это подразумевает правильные сочетания продуктов, приём пищи в нужное время дня, здоровый график физической активности, и хорошее состояние пищеварительной системы. Большинству людей в пожилом возрасте для идеальной работы кишечника нужно принимать про- и пре-биотики в том или ином виде: с пищей или в виде добавок. А также регулярно делать чистки организма. Для контроля потребления питательных веществ: витаинов, минералов и др. – используейте не информацию на этикетках (это иногда лишь весьма условные, с практичекой точки зрения, цифры), а регулярные развёрнутые анализы крови. Это касается и здровых, и тем более – не идеально здоровых людей.

· Be aware that older vegetarians can hardly get vitamin B12 from food. Take a vitamin B12 supplement (there are 100% vegan!) or vitamin B12 fortified breakfast cereals or soy milk. You don’t need to do any injections.

Do not forget that the body needs not only food, but also water. However, H2O should not be consumed in any form! It is most useful to drink warm water (slightly above body temperature), because. it requires a minimum of energy for assimilation and really saturates the body, and also alkalizes it, which is useful. Drinking cold water is most often harmful even to the most healthy and young people, especially in large quantities. Cold and especially iced water weakens the digestive system – and so in need of care in the case of the elderly … On the other hand, drinking tea, sweet “juices”, “nectars” and ready-made drinks, as well as very hot water and tea should also be limited: This drink is for taste, not health. More useful than tea coffee – herbal infusions and teas, such as pharmaceutical herbs such as chamomile and St. John’s wort. Ideally, make a herbal collection according to health indications, and drink in the right quantities, instead of tea and coffee.

· A vegetarian diet does not mean eating pasta and potatoes instead of meat and fish. Vegetarians and vegans eat at least 5 servings (about 2 kg l) of vegetables and fruits daily. Ideally, if these plant products are “organic”, i.e. does not contain a large amount of nitrates and other chemical additives. It is important to properly process products thermally and peel or soak those that cannot be processed (fruits, berries, herbs) – this also helps to get rid of harmful “chemistry”, which is quite a lot in store and sometimes even in market vegetables and fruits.

Regular, sufficient physical exercise is part of a lifestyle that incorporates a vegan or vegetarian diet as an integral part. “Regular” means daily, and “sufficient” means at least 30 minutes a day. Walking in the fresh air, jogging, light exercises without weights – “physical. exercise “- are also” considered “during such a workout. Agree that 15 minutes of running around the house and 15 minutes of exercise a day are not burdensome at all! Elderly people can practice yoga in a special group where the correct approach to the joints and spine is practiced.

Doctors all over the world today have proven that the most important point of any healthy diet is the consumption of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In addition, the general rule is the consumption of whole grains and products from them, as well as green leafy vegetables – and this, remember, daily!

Do not forget and – especially if you are already advanced in age – nourish the body with healthy vegetable oils: safflower, sunflower, olive, rapeseed, etc. oils are especially useful. Oils can be taken with food and or rubbed with them on the body: they are absorbed through the skin, at the same time improving its condition .

Brittle bones are one of the worst afflictions of old age. At the same time, some people, even at the age of 80 and 90, actively go in for sports, stand on their heads, ski, make mountain climbs – everything is fine with their bones … What’s the secret?! Perhaps in vitamin D and its absorption. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the intake of vitamin D – crucial for bone health! – by the elderly. Some even believe that “sometimes sit in the sun” is enough. But in our climate this is not enough – after all, there are few sunny days! Therefore, it is useful to sometimes buy products with vitamin D: for example, these can be special varieties of vegan margarine or breakfast cereals. Please note that the label “D3” on Western products means that it is vitamin D of animal origin. But “D2” is a purely vegan vitamin D. Special care should be taken to surround the body if you do not spend much time in the air – and therefore in the sun – for example, if an elderly person had a period of hospitalization: then the intake of vitamin D with food and vitamin additives should be increased.

Many older people love to drink tea. Unfortunately, both black and green tea reduce the absorption of iron by the body, and it is better to switch to delicious, individually selected herbal preparations and herbal teas. Useful teas that do not interfere with the absorption of nutrients, but on the contrary, are useful – mate, lopacho, lemongrass, Ivan-tea, pharmaceutical herbs. For the same reason, if possible, eliminate strong coffee from the diet. Fresh citrus juices are not only healthy on their own (contains vitamin C and other substances), but they are also good for absorbing non-heme (non-animal) iron as part of a vegetarian vegan diet – another great drink for the elderly!

Finally, a few words should be said about the inconspicuous (unlike iron) metal – zinc. Lack of zinc in the body leads to dull taste and slower wound healing in the elderly, significantly reducing the quality of life. For this reason, in old age, you should take a vitamin supplement with zinc, or lean on (pre-soaked) nuts and grains, and also eat whole grain bread or crispbread.

Vegetarians and vegans live long! But be that as it may, after 75 years, we begin a special age, when all the logical rules listed above should be observed even more strictly. And doctor’s supervision and personal advice (based on your tests) from a good nutritionist becomes very important for maintaining optimal health.


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