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March 2018: National Nutrition Month, “Go Further with Food”

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In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’d like to share the three tips for maintaining proper nutrition which also happen to be principles we follow at all of our MBK Senior Living communities.  It’s quite simple—it all boils down to eating a balanced, healthy diet, staying hydrated, and adding a bit of fiber in your life.

 

  1. Eating a balanced, healthy diet

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, that is the food you eat, it is one of the more challenging components of health but one that matters considerably. While exercise is an important element of health, proper nutrition is even more important especially since your metabolism slows down significantly as you get older.  As a general rule of thumb, a well-balanced diet following the food groups is the best policy.  The five food groups are: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. As for exercise, all of our communities take part in the MBKonnection Wellness Program which includes a variety of have physical/body movement classes such as yoga, Tai-Chi and fitness classes to help you stay active and fit.

 

  1. Stay hydrated!

Part of a well-balanced diet is also staying hydrated to help maintain good nutrition as you age. Men are recommended to intake 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total fluids a day.  It is recommended for women to drink 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total fluids a day. That might seem extreme but it is necessary, especially for older adults in order to stay properly hydrated and to avoid UTIs (urinary tract infections).

So what kinds of fluids count towards my daily intake? Avoid sugar—that includes juices, sport drinks, and sodas.  Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.  The best option is plain water.  If you don’t like plain water try adding cucumbers, oranges, and strawberries to naturally enhance the flavor. The more water you get the better you will feel!

 

  1. Are you getting enough fiber?

Healthy digestion is crucial. Since 70% of the body’s immune system is in the digestive tract, maintaining digestive health is vital to the body’s overall well-being. Dietary fiber is an excellent digestive aid to help your gut feel good.

We’re going to talk about something that nobody likes to talk about—constipation.  For most older adults, constipation is an unfortunate part of daily life.  Incorporating foods rich in fiber as part of your daily diet can make a huge difference in how you feel.  The most nutritious foods rich in fiber are vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins.

 

At all of our MBK communities, we have full-time executive chefs on staff that work with a dietitian to create a menu full of nutritional value our residents. National Nutrition Month may be in March, but we celebrate nutrition and the concept of furthering your health through the food you eat on a daily basis.

MBK Senior Living takes great pride in working with any individual dietary needs a resident may have. We offer regular diets, No Concentrated Sweets (NCS) diet, a No Added Salt (NAS) diet, and a reduced fat diet.  In addition to dietary restrictions, we also work with those who have require special food preparation, including a finger foods diet, meals cut up prior to serving, mechanical soft diet, pureed, and thickened liquids. Lastly, we also accommodate residents with a gluten or lactose intolerance, vegetarian diets, and those with diabetic restrictions—all done without compromising nutrition and taste!

 

Sources

https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/food-and-nutrition/senior-nutrition/

http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/elderly-care/healthy-lifestyle.html

https://www.theseniorlist.com/2014/08/how-much-water-do-i-need-to-drink/

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-eating-for-seniors

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups

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