A vegan diet offers many benefits, which makes it among the more popular diets that people follow to stay healthy. Even though many people who follow a vegan diet are young, senior adults can also follow this plant-based diet. But before senior adults start this diet, they should consult their doctors since the diet does not have any form of animal product.
Senior adults should also look for a nursing home offering vegan diets for its residents. These facilities should accommodate special dietary requirements of their residents to ensure they receive all the benefits of starting a vegan diet.
Here are the benefits that senior adults can get if they follow a vegan diet.
Vegan Diets Strengthen Bones
Even as studies have suggested that vegan diets make people susceptible to bone fractures, they can have strong bones if senior adults consume bone-friendly food items. Their diet should have a good amount of calcium and vitamin D. Due to this, vegan diets should have soya beans, sesame seeds, fortified soya, calcium-infused tofu, brown rice, and dried fruits.
They should also include fortified fat spreads and plant-based drinks in their diet for their vitamin D requirements. Senior adults who are vegans should also go out every day for their daily dose of sunlight, which is a good source of vitamin D.
Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and spring greens should also be in the diet of senior vegans. They should also have fortified plant milk and cereals along with almonds and chia seeds in their diet.
Vegan Diets Are Rich in Iron
Vegan diets also have a lot of iron, which is essential to produce red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to other parts of the body. Food with a lot of iron also strengthens the immune system of the body, which is important in the middle of a pandemic. Iron is also important for cognitive development and the metabolism within the thyroid glands. It also helps heal wounds faster and enhances physical performance.
A diet consisting of lentils, spinach, and blackstrap molasses offers a lot of iron for a vegan senior adult. Lentils are good sources of iron and have folate, potassium, and fiber. Lima beans, soybeans, and kidney beans are also good sources of iron. Senior adults who want to have a vegan diet should also include green pepper and citrus fruit in their diets.
Vegan Diets Help with Kidney Function
A plant-based diet can help people reduce the risk of kidney disease. It can also prevent the disease from getting worse if people are consistent in following it. Since the diet helps prevent kidney disease, it can also help senior adults to control their blood pressure.
People who have kidney disease can start a vegan diet to slow it down or prevent the disease from becoming worse. Since a plant-based diet consists of food that is not highly processed, senior adults will reduce phosphorus build-up in their bodies. Processed food items have a good amount of phosphorous, which is linked to kidney disease.
Aside from kidney disease, a vegan diet also helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Plant-based diets allow the body to use insulin better. Insulin is the hormone that controls the sugar level in the blood. Following a vegan diet allows senior adults to lower glucose levels in the blood.
Vegan Diets Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease at any age. Studies have shown that the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and beans can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
A diet consisting of soy, tofu, beans, barley, apples, eggplants, oats, and oranges has lower bad cholesterol levels, allowing people to reduce the risk of heart disease. It also has a low level of saturated fats, affecting heart health.
So, when senior adults follow a vegan diet consisting of legumes, fruits, and vegetables, they can reduce the risk of developing heart disease even at an advanced age.
Vegan Diets Promote Weight Loss
With obesity becoming an alarming issue in recent years, many nutritionists have emphasized the importance of losing weight. One option for them is by following a vegan diet. Some people are concerned if the diet is a healthy way to lose weight.
Despite these concerns, people can lose weight through a vegan diet if they consult their doctors before they start the diet. This is necessary since they have to avoid some food items that contain ingredients that can affect any weight loss program.
Following a vegan diet offers several benefits that senior adults can look forward to when they retire.