Have you noticed that you or your loved one isn’t eating as much as they used to?
There are many reasons why some older adults lose their appetite, but if you’re not maintaining a healthy diet, you could be missing out on the key nutrients that your body needs. In fact, a healthy diet geared towards senior nutrition can help boost your mood and energy, prevent heart disease, and have a positive impact on your overall health.
Keep reading to learn why many seniors experience a loss of appetite, how to stimulate appetite and loss of appetite treatment.
Common Causes And Signs Of Appetite Loss
If you’re experiencing a prolonged loss of appetite, examine the underlying causes. Understanding why you have appetite loss is key to determining how to best treat the issue.
Here are some common causes of appetite loss:
- Medication. Some medications can reduce your appetite or make you nauseous. If you are experiencing appetite loss, check the label on your prescription bottle or talk to your doctor to see if your prescriptions may be the cause.
- A mental health condition. Certain mental health conditions like depression or grief can have a significant impact on a person’s appetite. Difficulty eating during stressful events or bereavement is normal. It may take some time for appetite to return.
- Infection or illness. Certain infections or medical conditions like pneumonia, the flu, liver disease, asthma or diabetes can cause loss of appetite.
5 Tips On How To Treat Loss Of Appetite
Eating when you have no appetite can be challenging. Here are some tips on how to stimulate appetite.
- Resolve the underlying issue. As mentioned in the previous section, certain medications or illnesses could be causing your loss of appetite. Treatment for appetite loss often depends on the cause. If the lack of desire to eat is being caused by an infection, steady antibiotics can help cure the problem. Switching medications or managing grief are potential solutions to appetite loss.
- Eat regularly around the same time each day. Having an eating routine naturally trains your body to recognize when it’s time for food. To keep a schedule, it may be useful for you to keep a diary of what you eat and drink.
- Find your ideal eating style. Do you eat one large meal per day or small, frequent meals? Be sure to accommodate your eating style. If you are prone to snacking, have plenty of nutritious, easy-to-eat snacks on hand. If you prefer to eat one large meal, be sure to choose a nutrient-dense food that will give you energy for the whole day.
- Eat smaller portions of nutritious foods. If you are experiencing a loss of appetite, picking the right foods to eat when you’re able becomes extremely important. Avoid junk food and empty calories. Foods rich in vitamins like calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and fiber are essential to staying healthy.
- Make your food more palatable. Cook meals with spices to aid digestion or stimulate the salivary glands. Ginger, rosemary, fennel or turmeric are home remedies to cure loss of appetite. Alternatively, avoiding foods with strong odors like boiled eggs or Brussels sprouts can also help aid digestion.
Senior Nutrition: Why It’s Important
Senior nutrition is more than just eating fruits and vegetables. Healthy eating will help to prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. This is a big reason why seniors need to fight nutritional deficiencies and eat with health in mind. For seniors, maintaining a healthy diet positively affects stamina, longevity and the ability to stay active.
Nutrition plays a big role in staying healthy. If you have noticed that you or your loved one isn’t eating as much as they used to, it’s important to make sure they’re getting the nutrients their body needs.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to nutrition? Here’s a list of the healthiest foods for seniors below.
The Healthiest Foods For Seniors
To make sure you’re getting the right nutrients when you are able to eat, choose nutrient-rich foods like:
- Fiber-fortified cereal and bread with flax or whole grains.
- Lean proteins like beans, peas and lentils.
- Fat-free dairy products or natural greek yogurt with calcium.
- Vitamin D rich fish and eggs.
A Senior Living Community Can Help
Aging is linked to changes in your life that may make you prone to appetite loss. Still, good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight are integral to the aging process.
A senior living community has staff that are experienced in caring for residents with appetite loss. Executive chefs are able to accommodate dietary needs, and the pre-portioned nutrient-rich food options are specifically crafted to help you or a loved one rediscover the joy of eating.
Meals And Nutrition At StoryPoint
StoryPoint understands healthy eating for seniors. Not only are residents able to choose from multiple, personalized meal options each day, they also have access to an in-house registered dietitian and personal nutritional plans.
StoryPoint is staffed with top Executive Chefs who prepare fresh meals daily. Chefs use only high-quality ingredients, often from local farmers, and can cater to dietary needs, such as a low-sodium diet. StoryPoint communities offer extraordinary restaurant-style dining rooms and fresh bistros on-site that can cater to your nutrition needs.