The Elderly and Vegetarianism

Vegetarian eating can be filled with great decisions for every age. The options available to vegetarian eaters are nearly limitless, until the limits approach meat and some animal products. The health benefits are a great reason to choose a diet filled with plant products. Children need special nutrition and extra iron and protein, so their vegetarian diets should be monitored carefully. Adults will reduce their risk of many diseases and
conditions by eliminating meat. Especially for those adults who have eaten meat main dishes for most of their lives, vegetarian entrees and snacks can be extremely refreshing. For the elderly, the switch to a vegetarian diet can be even more so.

Slowly, Slowly
Many elderly people joke about how everything in their lives slows down as they age. If you are caring for an elderly person and are interested in the health benefits that could come for them from changing to a vegetarian diet, the rule is to change slowly. Anyone's system could be shocked by quick and drastic changes to the nutritional intake. An older body will need gradual shifts instead of rapid adaptation. You should also consult the person as far as their preferences. Make sure they are interested in the possibilities offered by a vegetarian diet. Lastly, and most importantly, consult the concerned physician before changing an elderly person's diet.

Health Benefits
As people age, their bodies tend to be less cooperative with variations in any way. Older bodies do not respond well to physical exertion and they do not respond well to exotic foods. Dairy is usually out of the question and meats are increasingly less tolerated. To help aid in digestion and its results, investigate the vegetarian options. Meat is related to cancers and artery clogging cholesterol. Plant foods are much more agreeable to aging bodies. They are proven to actually reduce cholesterol when eaten in combination with each other and apart from high fat and high cholesterol foods.

Ease of Eating
As people age, it sometimes becomes necessary for them to eat purees instead of food that requires chewing. Fruits, vegetables and beans are all very easy to puree while maintaining their nutritional value. By microwaving or baking the plant products rather than boiling them they will retain their vitamins. The pureeing is then a simple pulse of the blender or food processor. Meats are not so easily broken down by the blender or by sensitive stomachs. Even pureed meats are grainy and must often be combined with other foods. If you have a picky eater in your home, you know that it is much better to offer liked foods alone, rather than in combination with other foods.

With the advice and support of a physician, a vegetarian diet can be beneficial to the elderly. Depending on what your physician tells you, offer the option to the person you prepare meals for. If the loved person in your care is interested in trying something different for their health and comfort, try gradually eliminating meats and replacing them with other plant based proteins. A vegetarian diet can be pleasing to the eyes, the taste and the digestion.


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