Chronic pain can’t be cured by dietary changes alone, but if your senior’s diet isn’t all that healthy right now, she might feel better with a more nutritious eating plan. Changing an entire way of eating takes time, too, so don’t expect some of these changes to happen overnight.
Eating Fewer Processed Foods.
Processed foods are foods that tend to have a great many of their nutritional benefits removed, but they’re likely to be highly convenient. These are foods that your elderly family member might only need to reheat in the microwave or order from a drive thru window. They’re fast, but they’re full of empty calories that don’t keep her fueled. They tend to be high in sugar, sodium, or both.
Eating More Whole Foods.
The other option is for your elderly family member to eat more whole foods. These are foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. The downside for many people to eating more whole foods is that they’re intimidating. They require preparation and they’re not necessarily easy to eat right out of a wrapper. But they’re full of nutrients and benefits that your senior’s body really needs.
Drinking Plenty of Water.
Water doesn’t contain any calories and it’s essential for your senior to live. It helps to flush wastes out of her system and hydrates her body so that it can do all that it must to keep her going. Often people resist the advice to drink more water because it’s not as flavorful as other beverages. But drinking more water can help your elderly family member to feel much better. Dressing up plain water with herbal teas, citrus juices, or even flavorings is possible, but those can have other effects.
Making Sure to Eat Regularly.
Something else that your elderly family member might be doing is eating one big meal each day or eating irregularly. This can put her body into a cycle of feast and famine that doesn’t help her much. If cooking is difficult for her, consider hiring senior care providers who can help. They can make sure that she’s eating smaller meals more regularly throughout the day so that she’s spreading out her nutrients through the day.
Your senior’s approach to food might have been more about filling up in the past. Her focus now needs to be on the nutrients that she can get from the food that she eats. Her body needs the right fuel now more than it ever has.