With greater age comes greater wisdom. Unfortunately, so do a slew of health complications: difficulty chewing, reduced taste, dry mouth, poor digestion and poor appetite are just a few of the eating troubles facing our older generations. As a caretaker, you might feel hopeless or confused about how to properly nourish a loved one with the burden of these newfound hurdles. Not to worry, NutriBullet's here to help.
Difficulty Chewing or Swallowing
Ill-fitting dentures, loose or missing teeth, and decreased secretion of saliva may contribute to difficulty chewing or swallowing. The NutriBullet’s patented extraction blade will pulverize even the toughest vegetables, fruits, and boosts into a purified, liquid consistency, perfect for those who struggle with getting food down. In addition, the texture can be adjusted by using various ingredients. Speech pathologists often prescribe thickened liquids to those with swallowing difficulty. Drinking thickened liquids can help prevent choking and pulmonary aspiration (food or liquid entering the lungs). There are three common consistencies that progressively get thicker: nectar-thick, honey-thick, and pudding-thick. Consistency variations can easily be achieved with whole food ingredients such as banana, avocado, or nutbutter without commercial thickening agents. I recommend discussing this option with your healthcare provider or dietitian.
As we age, our digestive power fizzles. A reduction in digestive enzymes, stomach acid, gastric motility, and saliva may lead to poor digestion and nutrient absorption. Luckily, the NutriBullet helps break down cellular walls into a “pre-digested” form that provides assistance. NutriBlasts help reduce the digestive burden and enhance the utilization of valuable nutrients. Encourage small, frequent NutriBlasts/meals to allow time for proper digestion and assimilation.
The days of “dieting” are officially over! According to new research published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, the use of overly restrictive dietary prescriptions may have little benefit, especially when food intake may already be inadequate. While healthy eating may prevent or delay the onset of certain diseases, once old age is reached, the impact of dietary choices becomes somewhat obsolete. Even so, this doesn’t give free reign to eat junk! The body still requires essential nutrients found in whole foods, but if weight loss results from poor appetite and reduced intake, it becomes imperative that calorie consumption increases in any way possible. How would this happen when your loved one isn’t hungry? By using high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, you can make an all-natural NutriBlast to supplement his/her daily requirement that may be more enticing than a large meal. Foods like avocado, nuts and nut butters, ice cream, Greek yogurt, protein boosts, tofu, coconut milk, cooked grains, bananas, chocolate syrup, and juice can add calories into a compact, tasty treat.
CAUTION: Food and Medication Interactions
Those in their later years tend to rely on more prescription medications. If this is the case, it is extremely important to discuss food-drug interactions with your healthcare provider. Certain foods, most notably grapefruit or vitamin-K rich vegetables, will affect the strength and effectiveness of some medications. This will help determine what foods should or should not be included in a NutriBlast or in the overall diet.