Protein is one of the primary forms of nutrition for old age people. However, seniors become deficient in protein due to two reasons: they grow old and have no protein intake in any form of food. Therefore, there is a considerable role for protein for old age people.
Facts say one in two senior citizens don’t meet the required protein intake. Seniors (>60 age) need 50% more protein than their younger age. Recommendation quantity takes about 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight.
Proteins excrete through waste disposal processes from your body every day. So, you must intake the optimal amount of protein to meet your nutritional diet. High protein in old age helps them to maintain,
- Overall health
- Muscle Strength
- Strong Bones
- Metabolic activities
- New cell development
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
- Rapid healing.
A higher intake of protein considerably increases muscle strength and physical activity and avoids the accumulation of dead cells.
An article from NCBI has reported, “Maintaining health and quality of life are pivotal in old age. As you grow, you tend to lose strength, muscle mass, and the functions of vital organs. This process is known as sarcopenia.
In this article, you will learn various usage and benefits of protein for old age people. So, grab your gears till the end and keep your strength at a high level as you see the article’s cover image.
How Much Protein Does a Senior Citizen Require?
Protein is an essential nutrient that consists of 9 essential and 12 non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids can be increased only by protein dietary foods or supplements. These amino acids regulate metabolism and new cell growth in the human body.
Each cell, tissue, and organ in our body is made up of protein, as it helps develop and grow new cells. It also repairs the damaged cell and helps in the programmed death cell cycle. Muscles, Bones, Hair, Skin, Nails are made up of protein.
Many old-age people visit our senior care home and don’t have a clear idea of the optimal protein intake. The Food and Nutrition Board of National Research Council has recommended RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) intake of protein should be 1.2 mg per body weight in kgs for people over 50.
Research suggests that older adults are highly inadequate in protein levels in the body if they are prone to chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity.
Why is Protein Important For Seniors?
Protein is an essential nutrient for any balanced diet mandated in your meal plan. Protein helps muscle growth and repair, cell growth, and maintain fluid balance in the body. This fluid balance is essential for hydration and normal blood pressure. Additionally, protein is vital for healing from injuries and maintaining healthy vision.
For older adults, protein-rich foods and exercise are an excellent way for maintaining muscle mass and a healthy weight, which in turn help keep activities of daily living and prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes. The right amount of protein can also significantly contribute to your overall health.
As per the Gerontological Society of America study 2018, “senior people who ate ample amounts of protein were found 30% less physically impaired compared to seniors who didn’t meet their optimal level”.
Eating balanced meals with optimal protein supplements is especially important as we grow, as it saves our muscle strength from further deterioration. Decreased appetite and overall decreased intake are common risk factors for muscle breakdown, so it is essential to eat a protein diet to ensure balanced nutrition.