It can be difficult for older adults to change their habits and switch to a vegan diet, but the hard work will be worth it because they have so much to gain from this particular lifestyle.
In fact, a study that used measurement tools at the Loma Linda University Drayson Center in California revealed that plant-based diets can lower seniors’ need for medication by 58%. Vegan senior citizens consumed the least amount of pills among the population, which is especially astounding since it’s common for older adults to have multiple medications. So if you want yourself or your loved one to get to a better state of health, here’s what you need to know before adopting a vegan diet:
What to Consider Before Starting a Vegan Diet
One’s nutritional needs change over time, so you need to consider your own particular needs before diving into a plant-based diet. To illustrate, registered dietitian Sydney Greene points out that a vegan diet can be beneficial for people suffering from diseases that are influenced by chronic inflammation. Since there are plenty of plant-based foods are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, the nutrients and chemical compounds in plants can help in combatting diseases like allergies, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses.
Aside from taking note of your personal health goals, you also need to get approval from a medical professional, such as your dietitian or care provider. Thanks to their expertise in preventive care, Maryville University outlines how geriatric nurses are highly skilled in assisting older adults, and their families, as they navigate age-specific health issues. A geriatric nurse’s training in empathy and patient-focused care is very useful, especially if their patients want to know specific strategies that can improve their medical conditions, such as adopting a vegan diet. By taking these extra steps, you can ensure that going vegan is the right strategy for you.
A Guide to Adopting a Vegan Diet
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Tailor the diet to their health needs
A vegan diet is jam-packed with numerous nutrients, but you can make it even better by tailoring it to your personal needs. The input of your dietitian or geriatric care provider may be useful here because they can recommend certain meals or ingredients that you may need for your illness. Taking note of your personal needs will allow you to better plan your diet and improve your health status.
Make the ingredients accessible
A vegan diet can be hard to follow, especially if the ingredients aren’t accessible. Recognizing this dilemma, our article entitled Start Growing Food For Your Family suggests that you reduce your grocery expenses by buying seeds or seedlings of easy-to-grow vegetables. You can also consider planting your preferred ingredients to your favorite vegetable dish, or even the best vegan dish pairing for your Coconut Cloud drinks!
Provide adequate nutrition in each meal
Plant-based diets contain lots of beneficial components, but you may need certain nutrients more once you switch to this diet. One thing you have to pay attention to is protein, as experts from Wageningen University discovered that older adults tend to meet only one-fifth of the required protein intake in a vegan diet. So once you’ve switched, be mindful of consuming protein-rich legumes, meat alternatives, nuts, soy, and plant meat.
Older adults may need to observe extra steps before adopting a vegan diet. As inconvenient as they may seem, these steps are crucial for your optimal health. Through understanding your unique nutritional needs, you can start a vegan diet that will hopefully manage your health concerns and keep you on the road to wellness.
Article contributed by Roseanne Jenson