Any time of year is a great time for seniors receiving personal care assistant services to renew a commitment to eating healthy. However, at the outset of a new year, people are often extra motivated to do better. 

If you’re ready to make a healthier change to kick off 2022, then Best Care is here to support you! We empower our caregivers to offer quality home care resources throughout the whole year, so let’s start this one by taking a look at fiber in the diet.

Why probiotics are essential for seniors

Probiotics are living microorganisms that are good for your health, according to the Mayo Clinic. The idea that bacteria can be beneficial is often difficult to understand. We take prescribed antibiotics when we are sick and compulsively carry antibacterial hand sanitizer around on key chains. But the right bacteria, like probiotics, can do wonders for the body.

The Mayo Clinic has found encouraging evidence that probiotics may help with a variety of digestive problems common for seniors using home care providers, this includes:

  • Treating diarrhea
  • Preventing urinary tract infections
  • Managing irritable bowel syndrome

How to incorporate probiotics into a senior’s diet

Yogurt is the most familiar source of probiotics. If you don’t care for yogurt straight from a cup, here are five creative ways to add it to your diet.

  • Use yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in chip dips
  • Spread yogurt in a crepe for a thick and creamy filling
  • Stick yogurt in the freezer to create an ice cream consistency
  • Add yogurt as an ingredient in a seasonal fruit smoothie
  • Mix yogurt into your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe

Probiotic beverages and supplements are also available, which can be especially helpful for seniors who may have dental issues or trouble swallowing solid foods. 

Why high fiber foods for seniors are important

Fiber is an important part of the diet for people of all ages but, for seniors, in particular, it can help them with common problems, such as constipation, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and weight management.

When it comes to how much fiber per day for seniors is required, the recommended daily amount is 21 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. This can of course be flexible, depending on the dietary needs of the individual, which should always be discussed with their doctor(s).

List of high fiber foods for elderly

If you do decide to introduce more high fiber foods to a senior in your care’s diet, here are a few examples:

  • Fruits, such as raspberries, apples, pears, and bananas
  • Vegetables, such as green peas, broccoli, potatoes, sweet corn, and cauliflower
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds

Foods the elderly should avoid

Now that we’ve looked at what foods you could start promoting in senior diets, there are also some foods that are better to avoid:

  • Soft cheese, due to the low acidity and high moisture levels, which makes it the breeding ground for bacteria
  • Raw fish and meat
  • Grapefruit, as it can interfere with some medications
  • Processed foods, as they often have high levels of fat, sodium, sugars, and preservatives

Please check with your doctor or home care professional before making any drastic diet changes. If you’re unsure about anything else, feel free to reach out to a Best Care professional at info@bestcaremn.com, or call us at (651) 330-2550.