The Importance of Good Nutrition for the over 70’s

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( — April 17, 2019) — Many people over the age of 70 are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. This is a huge problem, especially as we really do need a good diet as we age to support the changing health status that happens naturally.

We may require fewer calories and energy, but we always need the same level of nutrition, making it more of a challenge to maintain good nutrition as you get older.

Eating less means really focusing on the impact of your food, opting for nutrient dense foods options that pack a punch. Your nutrition is a huge part of your health as you age, and it really does pay to give it the kind of focus it needs.

The Nutrients You Need As You Age

B Vitamins & Potassium

B vitamins and potassium are commonly deficient in older people. Deficiencies in B vitamins may cause issues with the brain and the nervous system. With potassium a deficiency can cause issues with the muscles and is even known to cause depression. Mixed fruit and vegetables, fortified cereals and dairy can provide potassium and vitamin b.


Fat is a really good way to get a nutrient dense food in a suitable portion size. Oily fish, cheese, avocado and peanut butter are excellent sources of nutrient dense fat.


Complex carbohydrates are important because they keep your digestive system working well. Brown pasta, rice and wholegrain breads, potatoes, legumes and cereals can all provide excellent sources of carbohydrate.


Protein is really important when it comes to keeping your soft tissues and muscles in good condition. Legumes, dairy, eggs, meat and poultry all provide good sources of protein.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in colourful fruits and vegetables and helps to support your immune system, which is very important as you age.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D aids bone and muscle health and if you don’t have enough, your bones can weaken. The sun isn’t always going to give us enough as the body struggles to convert Vitamin D from the sun as we age. For that reason, Vitamin D from mushrooms, eggs, oily fish and fortified foods should be sought.


Zinc helps to keep the immune system in good condition and the best way to include it in your diet is to eat high quality animal products and seeds and nuts.


Calcium is really important for the blood and the bones, especially as we age and try to avoid brittle bone disease osteoporosis. You can get calcium from dairy, fortified foods and leafy greens.


Iron is really important for blood health and a deficiency can cause fatigue and fainting. You can get really excellent sources of iron in red meat, leafy green vegetables and in fortified cereals and foods.

Do You Need Help With Your Diet?

Eating a balanced diet as you age is really important. Perhaps despite your best efforts your diet isn’t keeping you in great shape. Perhaps because of mobility or dexterity issues you struggle with cooking or eating. Perhaps you struggle with a lack of appetite because of medication, illness or emotional difficulties. It is important that you seek advice so that your nutritional needs can be met. Your GP is a really great resource for nutritional advice, as they can also check your bloods and run other tests that might need doing to see if you have deficiencies that need addressing.

If you’re struggling with nutrition at home because of problems going shopping or cooking, then you may also want to speak to your doctor about getting a care assessment. The care assessment may indicate that you may be better off if you use home care services that will help you with your nutrition and other needs. Once you know the level of help you require, a home care agency will be able to recommend a carer appropriate for your needs.

The Live-in Care Hub

United Kingdom