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Within the healthcare community, it is believed that elderly individuals need higher doses of protein to help battle ailments. This is because seniors tend to be more prone to facing a hospitalization, an illness, or lifestyle change. All of these stressful scenarios can cause the body to ineffectively handle protein dispersal. This lack of efficiency creates a ripple effect throughout the body: first affecting muscle mass, later affecting bone density, and finally attacking overall health.
Thus, it is imperative for seniors to get a healthy dose of protein-dense food every day. The recommended dietary allowance for seniors is .8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds). Thus, a 180 pound man should be getting about 65 grams of protein, whereas a 150 pound woman should be getting around 55 grams of protein.
Protein Does Not Mean Meat
Although the food pyramid tends to show protein as consisting solely of thick-cut steak and chicken, protein does not consist solely of animal products. Contrary to popular belief, there are a myriad of vegetables, fruits, and other natural conduits of protein!
Eggs are extremely beneficial for providing protein to senior citizens. On average, one egg is packed with 6 grams of protein. This ample supply of energy is also easily digestible. This means eggs can be consumed rather easily without agitating sensitive stomachs. Just make certain not to undercook them!
Nuts are another great source of protein, with almonds being universally beloved as the healthiest nut. Each serving has about 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber!
When buying nuts, try to aim for local providers or in the bulk bin. It also helps to search for nuts that are not packaged with excess salt or additives, as the saline levels can be harmful to seniors.
Legumes, also known as beans, are some of the best protein providers the earth offers. Beans have been blessed with the same protein levels as meat, but with much lower fat content. For example, one cup of cooked chickpeas brings a whopping 39 grams of protein and 12 grams of natural fat.
Another great form of protein can be gained from veggies! Cruciferous vegetables are a family of leafy greens that tend to be protein-heavy. With hearty offerings like broccoli, kale, and chard, these vegetables are packed with healthful proteins. The cruciferous brussel sprout holds 6 grams of protein and is rich in antioxidants!