Nutritional Fall Prevention: Tips to Protect You and Your Loved Ones
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that millions of older Americans experience fall yearly. Although not all falls result in injuries, the consequences can be significant. One in five falls outcomes in a serious injury like a broken bone, fracture, severe pain, or head injury, which can limit mobility and independent living. Fall prevention is crucial for older adults as they tend to experience loss of muscle and bone strength. Nutrition plays a vital role in reducing the risk of falls. Here are four ways food can help prevent falls:
Nutritional Fall Prevention
Let’s look at some tips to protect your loved ones from nutritional fall prevention:
1- Fuel your body with high-protein foods
Preserving bone and muscle mass is critical as we age, and adequate protein intake plays a crucial role. Seniors who do not consume enough protein are at a higher risk of muscle weakness, sarcopenia, and frailty, which can increase the likelihood of falls.
Seniors can include protein-rich foods such as dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, to ensure adequate protein intake. Vegetarian protein sources include legumes, tofu, grains, nuts, and seeds.
2- Drink plenty of water to maintain fluid levels
Lack of hydration can lead to various symptoms that increase the risk of falls, including dizziness, coordination issues, and confusion. It’s possible to become dehydrated without realizing it, such as during warm weather, while taking diuretics or other medications, or with specific conditions like diabetes.
As people age, they also tend to lose more body water. Drinking 6-8 glasses of non-alcoholic liquids daily is recommended to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of falls.
3- Nourish Your Bones with Calcium and Vitamin D
Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are crucial for maintaining healthy bones. Calcium is the building block for bones, while vitamin D ensures the body absorbs it effectively. Inadequate calcium intake over time can result in osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones fragile and susceptible to fractures. Even minor actions such as bending or coughing can cause a break in someone with osteoporosis.
Some of the richest sources of calcium include dairy products, fish with bones, dark leafy greens, and calcium-enriched foods and drinks. Vitamin D can be found in foods like eggs, fish, fortified dairy, and cod liver oil.
4- Boost Your Health with Iron and Vitamin B12 Supplements
Anemia, characterized by low levels of iron and vitamin B12, can lead to serious health issues in older adults, including muscle weakness, dizziness, fatigue, and an increased risk of falls. Studies have shown that elderly individuals with anemia are more likely to suffer from fall-related injuries, such as fractures or head injuries.
The risk of falls in the elderly increases as hemoglobin levels decreases, with those with hemoglobin levels less than ten g/dL having a 57% higher chance of experiencing a dangerous fall than those without anemia.
Seniors can include dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, red meat, shellfish, fish, and eggs in their diet to boost iron levels. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from clams, fish, crab, low-fat beef, fortified cereal, fortified soymilk, fortified tofu, low-fat dairy, cheese, and eggs.
The Bottom Line
Fall prevention can be achieved through various methods, one of which is proper nutrition. Ensuring adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 can help maintain strength and balance and reduce the risk of falls.
For those who have trouble meeting their nutritional needs, home delivery service Gourmet Pureed provides nutritionally tailored meals to meet specific health conditions and requirements. With our health condition menus, you can easily ensure that you eat well to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Discover how proper diet is vital in nutritional fall prevention for you and your loved ones. Learn about essential vitamins and minerals!