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10 Steps To Functional Nutrition For Seniors

Written by: Helena Smolock, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Helena Smolock

We underestimate the importance of Functional Nutrition for Seniors; the marketing targets the more youthful to middle aged consumer who thrive on being much more active than our senior generation.

Photo of happy seniors

Nutrition has changed its course from the early 1950’s to today which makes it a challenge for seniors to understand the new age terms of Functional Nutrition from their bread-and-butter days, combined with more comfort foods of meatloaf, mash potatoes with little vegetable and fibre added to their diet. The relation between healthy aging and food was not the forefront and consideration back in the day.

As people get older, they face increasing health challenges, risk the onset of disability, and undergo physiological and social transformations that affect essential elements of their lives, including nutrition. Poor diet is an established predictor of noncommunicable chronic diseases (NCD) and premature mortality, accounting for about 40% of all NCD deaths worldwide”.

– Hang Zhao and Tatiana Andreyeva PuB Med Central

What steps can we implement to ensure that poor diet, a noncommunicable chronic disease (NCD) will enhance today’s seniors with the opportunity to longevity, prevention of disease, increased energy and a more balanced livelihood as one ages.

  1. Education – Hosting workshops, cooking lessons on the new ways of healthy cooking and eating. Teaching seniors the definition of new terminology in nutrition – Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Healthy fats vs Unhealthy fats. These terms are foreign to our seniors which can cause confusion and frustration if not fully understood.

  2. Reduction or better yet the elimination of processed and refined foods such as white bread, sugars and canned food. Canned food including soups, canned vegetables.

  3. Reduction and the elimination of coffee which can dehydrate seniors. Consumption of herbal teas or decaffeinated teas are much healthier choices.

  4. As we age, our total body water content decreases. Seniors require on average 7 – 8 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration. Dehydration in seniors (or anyone) can be dangerous which can lead to hospitalization.

  5. Increase lean meats such as turkey, chicken, fish and eggs to the meal plan. Decrease red meat, steaks, hamburgers which usually have a higher fat content.

  6. Avoid meats and foods with Growth Hormones, Genetically Modified Ingredients, Herbicides and Pesticides. Seniors have lowered Immune Systems, lowered Digestive Enzymes that may become irritated consuming these toxins.

  7. Implement whole foods with nutrient density. Prepare foods from scratch with minimal addition of processed foods.

  8. Increase intake of whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, oats, flaxseeds, millet, spelt.

  9. Choose organic-grown food. Dark green leafy vegetables – Spinach, Kale, Bok Choy, Broccoli to name a few. Visit farmer markets.

  10. Ingest freshly pressed fruit juices and vegetable juices (Fruit juices are best in the morning)

Visit your local government's website to learn more about healthy eating practices for seniors. In the USA, the USDA MyPlate Nutrition for Older Adults. In Canada, Seniors have access to Canada’s Food Guide.

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Helena Smolock Brainz Magazine

Helena Smolock, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Helena Smolock, is an award-winning CPT-RNC, a Master Athlete, and Founder and President of Velocity Athletic Training. She received the Business Excellence Award from the Langley Chamber of Commerce 2003, was voted by clients and business associates across Canada and the USA as Business Person of the Year (2020-2022), seated at 4 in the top ten businesses in the USA, and most recently in 2023 seated at 1 (Blaine, WA). Voted in the top ten Business Person of the Year 2023, seated at 6 in the USA. Her company, Velocity Athletic Training has most recently been voted by LUXLife 2023 as the 1 Personal Training Company in Washington State. She has been a Fitness Columnist for Canadian Healthstyle Magazine, The Langley Times and has been featured on radio and television. Helena is also WBENC ‒ Certified as a Woman Owned Business. The Gold Standard in business Certification.

From athletes and corporate professionals, to those seeking post-rehab, Helena has provided an environment where a trusted bond is developed between client and coach. Together we design your 1:1 Functional Conditioning to boost your Fitness with an Athletic Twist to enhance Performance and Mindset to WIN!!



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