EFS Staff

Good nutrition plays an important role in how well you age. Eating a healthful diet helps keep your body strong and can help reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis. Studies even show a link between healthful eating and longevity.  “As we age, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing some key nutrients. Appetite and taste can suffer from loss of sense of smell and taste or from side effects of medications. Bad teeth can make some foods difficult to chew or digest,” said Arthur Hayward, MD, a geriatrician and the clinical lead physician for elder care with Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute. “So choosing foods carefully is smart.”

Here are five tips to help you get the nutrition your body needs:

  • 1 - Avoid empty calories.

Foods with empty calories may contain very few vitamins and minerals.

“Convenience foods,” such as packaged snacks, chips and sodas, are common sources of empty calories. Avoid the “bad” carbohydrates — foods that have white flour, refined sugar and white rice.

  • 2 -  Choose nutrient-rich foods.

Eat a variety of foods. The more you vary the foods you eat, the more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you get. For example:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables — Choose fresh, frozen or no-salt canned vegetables and fruits in their own juice or light syrup.
  • Eat foods with protein — Protein is found in lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese, cooked beans, peanut butter and nuts and seeds.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D — Calcium and vitamin D are found in milk and milk products, including yogurt and cheese. They are also in green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens) and tofu.
  • Include foods high in vitamin B12 — After 50, the body produces less gastric acid and absorbs less B12, which helps keep blood and nerves vital. B12 is found in milk, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
  • Eat high-fiber foods — This includes fruits, vegetables, cooked dried beans and whole grains.


  • 3 -  Drink plenty of fluids.

Drink plenty of fluids — enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Fiber and fluids help with constipation.

  • 4 -  If your appetite is poor.

Try eating smaller meals, several times a day, instead of one or two large meals. Eating while socializing with others may help your appetite. You might also ask about changing medicines. Medication can cause appetite or taste problems.

  • 5 - Eat soft foods.

As we approach our senior years, chewing food is sometimes difficult. Choose low-sodium canned vegetables or cooked fruits and vegetables. These are often softer. Chop or shred meat, poultry or fish. Add sauce or gravy to the meat to help keep it moist.

For healthy recipe ideas, check out Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health blog at https://foodforhealth.kaiserpermanente.org

In addition to eating a balanced diet, aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Ten-minute sessions several times a day on most days are fine. For more information, visit kp.org and everybodywalk.org. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk with your physician.

Article by NewsUSA

Heart Healthy Recipe: Wild and Brown Rice Stuffing

Makes 12 servings. This rich-tasting mixture provides a moist filling for your roast poultry, or a tasty side dish to serve up at a holiday feast.


  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) canola oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 25 mL (2 tbsp) dried sage leaves
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) dried thyme leaves
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) wild rice
  • 250 mL (1 cup) brown rice
  • 1.5 L (6 cups) no salt added chicken or turkey broth or stock
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) dried cranberries or cherries
  • 50 mL (1/4 cup) toasted pine nuts
  • 25 mL (2 tbsp) chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)

Directions-In large deep saucepan or soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook celery, onion, carrot, garlic, sage and thyme for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in wild rice to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in brown rice and cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until rice is tender but firm. Remove from heat and stir in pepper, cranberries, pine nuts and parsley; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Let cool completely if using as stuffing for turkey. For side dish, scrape rice mixture into casserole dish and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Cover with foil and reheat in 160 F (325 F) oven for about 45 minutes or until heated through. Tip: If reheated as a casserole, drizzle 125 mL (1/2 cup) additional broth over top to help retain moisture before reheating.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (150 mL/ 2/3 cup) – Calories: 161, Protein: 6 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 g, Carbohydrate: 27 g, Fibre: 2 g, Sodium: 51 mg, Potassium: 244 mg

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. Reprinted with Permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Seniors Tip: Seniors More at Risk for Anemia : Know the Signs and Symptoms

news 92It is estimated that one in 10 people over the age of 65 is anemic. Anemia is the most common blood disorder and a serious medical condition, although many patients may mistake its symptoms for daily fatigue and stress. In fact, many patients do not realize that they are anemic until they take a blood test.

Because anemia occurs when your body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen to your organs and tissues, it can make you feel tired and weak. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, pale or yellow skin, dizziness, cold hands or feet and headaches.

As people age, the risk of developing anemia increases. “While anemia can sometimes be the result of poor nutrition, it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition, such as cancer or kidney disease,” says Nancy Berliner, M.D., president of the American Society of Hematology.

“It is very important to consult your doctor if you suspect you are anemic, because even mild anemia may be linked to other diseases requiring treatment. Furthermore, in order to properly treat the anemia, it is important to understand what is causing it.” Nutritional anemia (when you do not have enough vitamins like folic acid in your diet) can be prevented by healthier eating habits. Look for iron-rich foods, like beef, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and nuts. In addition, good sources of folic acid include citrus juice, legumes and fortified cereals. However, Dr. Berliner cautions that older adults should not take iron supplements unless instructed by a doctor.

“Iron deficiency anemia is almost always the result of blood loss, and it is important to understand the cause of the blood loss. Taking iron may temporarily fix the anemia, but it will also delay proper diagnosis of the real problem. Although iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia worldwide, it accounts for less than one-third of anemia in elderly patients, and delay in seeking a doctor’s opinion may delay the diagnosis of a more serious condition. The sooner you talk with your doctor, the sooner you can find out what is wrong and how to treat it,” said Berliner. If you are diagnosed with anemia, your doctor can determine your treatment and, depending on your condition, may refer you to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood disorders.

For more information, visit www.bloodthevitalconnection.org

Article by NewsUSA

Did you know? Oral Health Care for Older Adults

Dental hygienists remind seniors and their caregivers about the importance of caring for your teeth and mouth to maintain good oral and overall health.

Thanks to healthier lifestyles, as well as advances in oral and medical care, we can expect to keep most, if not all, of our natural teeth as we age. But keeping those teeth healthy can be a challenge. Many medications can cause dry mouth, a condition that can contribute to cavities and other oral problems. Seniors also develop more cavities on the roots of their teeth than younger adults. And, perhaps most worrisome, bacteria from the mouth can travel through the body, resulting in serious infections affecting overall health.

All older adults should be encouraged to brush their natural teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean in between their teeth at least once a day. Dentures (full or partial) should be cleaned and soaked daily, and the gums should be brushed and massaged, either with a soft toothbrush or with a warm, damp cloth.

Whether you’re at home or in a long-term care residence, good oral hygiene coupled with regular treatments by a dental hygienist can help to prevent more serious health problems. Together, you can plan a daily oral care routine that will keep your teeth, and you, healthy for life.

Article by www.newscanada.com

Joke or Quote of the Month: Honorable Life

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

 George Bernard Shaw