Often, dairy is seen as good or bad for a person. However, the truth is somewhere in the middle. While consuming large quantities of full fat cheeses and milk products can increase cholesterol levels and body weight, other dairy products offer wonderful benefits. Dairy can provide protein and other vitamins and minerals, making it a valuable component of a balanced diet, especially for seniors who can tolerate dairy products without adverse reactions like lactose intolerance. Here is what you need to know and some good snack options for your elderly loved one, and how senior home care can help.
Dairy Is One of the Best Sources of Calcium
Calcium plays a crucial role in the body by contributing to developing and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also assists in various other functions, including muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. This is all so important for a senior to focus on, which is why they should eat certain amounts of dairy. They may need to avoid things like soft cheese or not fully cooked to avoid germs and bacteria, but they go for milk and yogurt if their stomach can handle it.
Your Senior Will Get More Protein When They Can Eat Dairy
Getting enough protein is crucial for a senior because it helps them maintain weight, muscle mass, and much more. Protein is essential for the body as it serves multiple functions. It provides the building blocks for tissues, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, supporting growth, repair, and maintenance of various bodily structures. If you notice your senior lacks energy, it may be because they lack enough protein to fuel their body. Dairy isn’t one of the highest protein sources, but it can assist in adding protein to a senior’s diet. It can also be easy to grab right out of the fridge. Start adding yogurt every morning or for a snack in the afternoon. It is low-calorie and contains enough protein to fill your loved one. A senior home care provider can assist your parent with grocery shopping and preparing protein-rich meals that also include dairy.
Dairy Can Help Prevent Digestive Issues
When your senior loved one is struggling with digestive issues, it can cause them extreme discomfort, which can make it hard to do anything during the day. Digestive systems naturally change with age, making them more likely to have pain after certain foods. It can take longer for them to digest certain foods, which may make them feel heavy and bloated or put pressure on their digestive system. Some dairy, like a bowl of yogurt, may help fight a senior’s discomfort. Even if your loved one is lactose intolerant, some lactose-free dairy products your loved one can enjoy may help settle their digestive issues. They may even enjoy a glass of lactose-free milk.
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