4 min read
Why Is Protein So Important As We Age?
Humans are living longer and longer. How excellent is that? However, if we are not taking care of our bodies the best we can, our bodies may struggle to perform their best as body composition begins to change as we grow older.
That being said, there are lots of ways that we can look after ourselves as we cross that mid-life line. This includes doing our best to get a variety of natural foods, getting enough food in general, drinking plenty of water and most importantly (in my opinion) moving our bodies daily in ways that we enjoy. It’s also important to note that health is so much more than just the foods we eat and how we move our bodies but includes mental and social wellbeing as well.
When it comes to physical health, by trying to include a variety of different foods into our diets we’re giving ourselves more of an advantage when it comes to getting the nutrients we need. That goes for all of us, not just the ageing population. However, as we age these needs increase and there are some nutrients that we need to be particularly mindful of, such as protein.
Protein provides energy, it’s satiating and is also essential for the repair and maintenance of body tissues. Not only that but it supports your immune system and provides the building blocks for bone, muscle, skin and blood.
This becomes particularly important as we grow older and our body composition changes. We can experience a loss of protein tissue which then leads to reduction of organ tissue, blood components, immune bodies and skeletal muscle decreases as well as impaired wound healing. This is why being mindful of getting your daily protein requirements is so important.
In New Zealand, women 51 and older are recommended to have at least 2.5 servings of protein a day while men in this age bracket are recommended to have a minimum of 3. This can vary somewhat from person to person depending on our body size. For those over 70, it’s particularly important to add in extra protein where we can to prevent the risk of muscle and bone loss. Serve this up with a variety of fibre-rich food including vegetables, fruit and whole grains which should continue to be the main feature of any plate.
Complete proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids and mainly come from animal foods such as chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, fish and other meats and seafood. For vegetarians and those wanting to include a variety of proteins, soy and quinoa are also complete proteins as is Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein range.
Getting your daily requirements of protein as we age can be increasingly difficult for some for a variety of reasons. Decreased appetite, financial stresses, accessibility, difficulty preparing foods, difficulty chewing, living arrangements, etc.
Clean Lean Protein is an excellent source of protein and can be an easy way to ensure that you’re getting your daily requirement.
If budget allows, having a Clean Lean Protein shake (bonus points for adding a scoop of Good Green Vitality) with water each day could be a way to fit in a good serving or two of daily protein.
In my opinion, growing old is a gift, not a burden or something to be feared. Let’s take care of ourselves the best we can so that we can continue to live long fulfilling lives surrounded by activities, friends, and family that we love. There’s so much life to live.