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Why Is Soy Healthy for Seniors?

Many aging adults are learning about the health benefits of soy and including it in their diets as an alternative to animal-based proteins. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Westfield families trust, wants to share some information on the health benefits of soy for seniors.

Nutritional Needs Change with Age

All human bodies need a certain amount of protein and nutrients, including healthy fats, and seniors are no different. However, due to issues like the inability to digest animal proteins, bone density loss, and the need for sugar or cholesterol control, some seniors require special attention to make sure they get the nutrition they need. A healthy senior diet needs to be high in nutrients and fiber while being low in saturated and trans fats. The protein contents of lean meat and soy are similar, but soy is even leaner than most lean meats, and the calcium contents in soy can help strengthen bones.

Soy Contains Plenty of Protein

The excessive fat in animal proteins and even lentils can be difficult for some seniors to digest. In addition, they may have difficulty chewing, reduced appetites, sensitive stomachs, and less saliva production, which leads to fewer digestive enzymes. Soy offers an alternative to seniors who need protein and nutrients in an easily digestible form. Soy can act as a protein replacement in many meals, and its availability in both solid and liquid forms makes it a versatile option.

Seniors Reap Many Additional Health Benefits

Soy has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, help control blood sugar levels, increase muscle growth and lean body mass, and strengthen bones. Easily adaptable in many foods, soy is a highly digestible and nutritious protein alternative for seniors. In fact, the USDA has endorsed diets containing 20-25 grams of soy per day as a way to provide critical nutrition for an aging body.

Though eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy diet is important for seniors, there are many other strategies to help your aging loved one remain healthy. At Home Care Assistance, we use a program called the Balanced Care Method that focuses on lifestyle choices like healthy diets, but also encourages physical activity, socialization, and cognitive stimulation. We also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Westfield. To learn more about our elderly care services and to request a free in-home consultation, call a Care Manager today at 908.450.9400.