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The Most Important Nutrients for Seniors

Proper nutrition is important at any age, but for seniors it can play an even bigger role in overall health. Including the right foods in an older adult's diet is a critical aspect of senior care, because not getting the right nutrients can not only make it difficult to manage certain chronic conditions, but it also may put seniors at a greater risk for fatigue and other maladies. 

Meal preparation is often a cornerstone of senior care, and there are a few things that should be taken into consideration when crafting a senior's healthy diet. Perhaps most importantly, caregivers should make a point to limit the sodium content of their patients' food. Keeping sodium content low will help seniors manage their blood pressure, which is often one of the greatest risk factors for cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and stroke. To avoid high-sodium foods, caregivers should focus on fruits and vegetables.

It's also important for seniors to eat nutrient-dense foods. Some of the best nutrients include calcium, vitamin D and potassium, but omega-3 fatty acids may offer the most benefits. Commonly found in fish, but also present in kidney beans, flaxseed and spinach, the nutrient has been tied to everything from better heart health to improved cognitive function.

Eating the right foods is key to senior health for many reasons. According to the National Institutes of Health, a healthy diet will provide seniors with more energy and help them stave off diseases.

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