If the older adults in your life are more prone to indulge in the numerous junk and fast food choices that are so readily accessible, they are in good company. Even though these sorts of foods are convenient and easy, they are often full of calories, cholesterol and fat and lack fiber as well as other key nutrients that are important to nourish aging bodies. The fact is, as few as 5% of us are getting enough fiber – something extremely important for seniors.

Exactly Why Is Fiber Important for Seniors?

Fiber’s health benefits include:

  • Weight control: Lower in calories and slower to digest, foods that are an excellent source of fiber help us to feel fuller for a longer period.
  • Lowered cholesterol: With fiber in the digestive tract, the body absorbs reduced levels of cholesterol.
  • Blood sugar regularity: Because high-fiber foods take longer to break down, more consistent blood sugar levels are sustained.
  • Better digestive tract functioning: Fiber in the digestive tract stimulates the intestines, easing problems from constipation.
  • Lower cancer risk: Adequate quantities of fiber in the diet help safeguard against certain kinds of cancer, including colon cancer.

How to Boost Fiber Intake

If an older adult’s diet is deficient in sufficient quantities of fiber, it is important to incorporate more fiber slowly. Adding too much fiber all of a sudden may cause bloating, gas, and other side effects. Help seniors to build up fiber intake over a number of days, while making sure to consume plenty of water as well, which will help cut down on unwanted symptoms.

These foods with a high fiber content are an excellent place to start. Remember that ideally, it is recommended that adults should be consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed each day, which translates to about 24 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

  • Apples (4.4 grams in one single raw, medium-sized apple)
  • Raspberries (6.5 grams per cup)
  • Pears (5.5 grams in one raw, medium-sized pear)
  • Strawberries (3 grams per cup)
  • Avocado (10 grams per cup)
  • Bananas (3.1 grams in a single medium-sized banana)
  • Carrots (3.6 grams per cup)
  • Broccoli (2.4 grams per cup)
  • Beets (3.8 grams per cup)
  • Brussels sprouts (3.3 grams per cup)
  • Artichoke (6.9 grams in a single raw globe)
  • Kidney beans (12.2 grams per cup, cooked)
  • Lentils (13.1 grams per cup, cooked)
  • Chickpeas (12.5 grams per cup, cooked)
  • Split peas (16.3 grams per cup, cooked)
  • Oats (16.5 grams per cup, raw)
  • Popcorn (1.15 grams per cup, popped)
  • Quinoa (5.2 grams per cup, cooked)
  • Almonds (4 grams per 3 tablespoons)
  • Sweet potatoes (3.8 grams per medium-sized boiled potato without skin)
  • Dark chocolate (3.1 grams per 1-ounce piece)

With a wide variety of choices to satisfy each senior’s particular preferences, it’s not difficult to add more fiber into the diet and improve senior health.

At Home With You Senior Care, providers of home care in Reisterstown, MD and the surrounding areas, we know how a well-balanced diet for seniors helps maintain general health and wellness so that older adults can continue to live active and engaged lives. Our highly-trained care team is here to help encourage healthy eating and snacking habits for older adults and provide companionship during meals, and any other time, day or night. Our care team can also grocery shop, plan and prepare healthy and balanced meals and snacks which are customized to specific dietary needs or restrictions, and even tidy up the kitchen afterwards.

To learn more about the numerous ways Home With You Senior Care’s care team is available to help a senior you love maintain nutritious eating habits and so much more, reach out to us at 410-756-0959 to schedule a free in-home consultation. Visit our Locations Served page for a full list of the communities in which we provide care.