Vegan Nutrition in Age: These nutrients should be kept in mind

Vegan food is currently in full swing. Even many seniors forgo the consumption of animal products. But is it healthy at all? Vegetaria...


Vegan food is currently in full swing. Even many seniors forgo the consumption of animal products. But is it healthy at all?

Vegetarians are not always easy, because they are often smiled for their attitude to eating. Vegetarians finally dispense completely with meat. This is an absolute no-go for many, because they simply can not live without meat. An even stricter diet is called veganism. If you eat vegan, do not just rely on meat, but completely on all foods with animal origin. Furthermore, vegans dispense with clothing made from animal products, e.g. Leather shoes.

According to Statista statistics, the number of vegans living in Germany in 2016 was around 0.8 million. Especially young people consistently implement this lifestyle. But more and more elderly people are also leaving. Why not? Or is this lifestyle for the elderly questionable? Or quite the opposite: perhaps even a guarantee for a long life? We clarify.

The body changes in age

People older than 65 are called "old" people. From that age on, there is a lot going on in the body. He changes. And not for the positive. In addition to the stomach, intestines and kidneys, the skin and the mouth are also affected.

Since elderly people often move much less than before, and often have to deal with diseases, nutritional needs are changing. If you are only slightly stressed on your body, Less food energy. It even deteriorates the absorption capacity of nutrients. This is due to digestive enzymes in the intestine, which become less and less. Fats, carbohydrates and proteins can subsequently be inferiorly absorbed. In addition, the fluid demand increases in old age. And as if that were not enough, the saliva production is reduced, which means that there are fewer enzymes that can absorb vitamin B12 in the body. In addition, the older the skin, the less well it can produce vitamin D and absorb from the sun's rays.

As a result, you need to change your diet to get enough nutrients. Otherwise it can quickly come to shortages. If you are often struggling with muscle cramps in your legs, headaches, sleep problems, fatigue and dizziness, you might suffer from a magnesium deficiency (source: magnesiummangel.net). A calcium deficiency, however, increases e.g. The risk of osteoporosis. It is therefore extremely important that you ensure that there is sufficient nutrient intake. If you do, there is nothing to prevent a vegan diet in old age.

A vegan lifestyle has many advantages in old age

If you eat vegan in the old age, it is not only good for the animal world but also for yourself. That is proved by a lot of studies. For example, the Oxford Vegetarian Study. The main objective was the mortality of vegetarians and vegans compared to the non-vegetarian control group. Results: Participants who consumed meat less than once per week had 20% lower overall mortality and 28% lower mortality in cardiovascular disease than meatmeat (source: vebu.de).

Avoid animal products, take less cholesterol and saturated fat, which will benefit your cardiovascular system. The risk of a stroke, myocardial infarction and hypertension drops. In addition, the risk of type 2 diabetes falls. If you already suffer from this, you can improve your values ​​with the vegan diet and in the best case even do without medication. Vegan can also avoid rheumatic and arthritis symptoms and gouty attacks. In addition, they reduce the cancer risk by dispensing with meat.

You should always keep these nutrients in mind

While it is absolutely unproblematic to eat vegetarian in old age, a purely vegan diet carries a risk: nutrient deficiency. As already described, the body changes in age and thus requires more support in the intake of nutrients. By dispensing with animal foods, your body will be deprived of important vitamins and minerals that you need to take elsewhere. This is especially important in old age because a deficiency of certain minerals and vitamins can have serious consequences for your health. You should therefore keep the following nutrients in mind:

❍ Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is very important for people because it supports the absorption of calcium in the intestine. Younger people can take vitamin D well over the skin, by sunlight. In the elderly, however, this is not so easy. So you need to absorb enough vitamin D over your diet. This is for example in avocados and mushrooms.

❍ Vitamin B12:

At the age, the stomach does not produce so much acid. The result is that the body can no longer absorb vitamin B 12 as well. The problem: you will not be able to absorb enough vitamin B 12 via a purely herbal diet. It is therefore important that you ensure a sufficient vitamin B12 supply through dietary supplements.

❍ Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of the cell walls in the human body. They also have a positive effect on the blood pressure. Take enough food with hemp, walnut, rapeseed or linseed oil.

❍ Iron:

Iron is responsible for oxygen transport in the body. So be very important to man. Eat adequate cereal products, nuts, soy protein or bran.

❍ Calcium:

What is good for small children is also good for older people. Calcium reduces the natural decline in bone mineral density. In order to do so, however, the body also needs sufficient vitamin D. Particularly much calcium, for example, contains, Green vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Conclusion:

A vegan way of life is absolutely possible in old age. However, only if you are able to deal with the various plant foods and their ingredients and cover the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. It is therefore always advisable to speak with a doctor about the project of nutritional change and to be accompanied by a doctor. So nothing can go wrong.

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