One of the most important aspects of a person’s diet is fiber. When people get older, their body functions slow down. This can make it more difficult for their body to process and digest foods. Fiber is crucial to help keep these processes moving along. As a family caregiver, it can be helpful to learn more about the best tips and information about making fiber an important part of your elderly loved one’s diet.
Fiber is Important
There are numerous reasons why senior citizens need to get plenty of fiber each day. Fiber helps with the following:
- Maintaining gastrointestinal functions
- Helping to properly absorb and digest vitamins and nutrients
- Preventing some cancers (ex. Colorectal cancer)
- Preventing or lowering the risk for heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels
- Preventing and/or relieving constipation
- Helping with weight management
- Helping the body to stay full longer
As you can see, it is very important for your elderly loved one to get enough fiber in their diet. If they don’t generally do this, you or a home care assistance provider may have to help plan their meals.
Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
There are different types of fiber that are vital. These include soluble and insoluble fiber. You could research for hours and hours to learn about these fibers. However, here is a great breakdown of what you and your elderly loved one need to know:
- Soluble fiber dissolves great when food was already partially digested in the stomach
- Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance that sticks to bile and toxins in the stomach
- Soluble fiber slows digestion to help the person’s body absorb minerals, nutrients, and vitamins from their food
- Insoluble fiber helps the body pass food through the digestive system
- Insoluble fiber cleans the intestines out
- Insoluble fiber promotes healthier bowel movements
Both these fibers is crucial to your elderly loved one’s overall digestive health. If you aren’t sure how much fiber your elderly loved one should get each day, you or a home care assistance provider should ask their doctor during their next appointment.
If you or a senior care provider is trying to add more fiber to your elderly loved one’s diet, here are some foods they should eat more of:
- Oat cereals
- Dried seeds
- Whole wheat
Now that you know which fiber-filled foods to add to your elderly loved one’s diet, you can start finding recipes that include these foods.
Fiber is an important part of the diet for senior citizens. Now that you are made aware of this, you can start helping your elderly loved one add more fiber, both soluble and insoluble, into their diet.