When you’re over 40, you have a renewed appreciation for what older adults go through every day. You still have a lot of responsibilities, but at the same time, you may have less energy to deal with them. That said, there’s a prevailing notion that old age frailty is a given. As you grow older, you don’t have to be fragile, especially if you can maintain a healthy diet high in vitamins and exercise.
PREVENT OLD AGE FRAILTY WITH THE RIGHT VITAMINS
WHAT IS OLD AGE FRAILTY?
Frailty in this sense is not just the slow physical decline and fading strength for those who don’t exercise. Old age frailty is a catchall label for a clinical state of being more susceptible to a wide range of health disorders and hazards. That means frail older adults are simply more prone to falls, disability and hospitalisation.
Frailty in older men also means they respond poorly to medical care. And as a rule, they are generally unable to live an independent, active life.
VITAMINS AND FRAILTY
Researchers from the School of Medicine at Universidad de La Frontera in Temuco, Chile looked at the data on adults aged 65 years and older who were vigorous despite their age. What the researchers found was a strong link between a balanced diet rich in vitamins and a drastically reduced risk of developing old age frailty later on.
A diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein, goes a long way towards preventing frailty in older adults. In the case of this Spanish study, the use of vitamin supplements was ruled out. They did not include any participants who were taking additional vitamins outside their usual diet.
The individuals who consumed plenty of lemons, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and other whole foods rich in vitamin C were 93 percent less likely to end up with old age frailty. That’s compared to those who got the lowest levels of this crucial nutrient. The foods with the highest levels of vitamin C are mostly fruits. These include guavas, strawberries, oranges and kiwi fruits. Any of these can already give you more than 100 percent of your daily needs per cup serving.
In this study, the people who only consumed low amounts of vitamin B6 have up to 2.8 times the risk of developing frailty. The older adults who exhibited the least risk are those who eat plenty of bananas, tofu, fish and chicken. That means they are getting foods rich with this potent B-vitamin.
The participants who were ranked last in terms of vitamin E intake had 2.3 times the risk of developing frailty compared to those who ate foods like sunflower seeds and almonds – foods rich in vitamin E. Other sources of this vitamin include nuts like hazelnuts and pine nuts, as well as fruits like avocados and mangoes.
The Spanish study just goes to show that you don’t have to suffer old age frailty in the years ahead. Just make sure your meal plan is healthy and loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Research shows with a healthy diet multivitamins are not needed to stay healthy, active and independent later in life.