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Protein: Need of the hour for senior citizens

In this Issue, we shall deliberate on ‘why’ and ‘how’ of protein intake by the senior citizens. This article is prompted by the frequent queries we receive from our members who after having undergone bi-annual medical check-up are often found wanting in protein intake.

Why is protein important?

Protein is essential for healing, building and repairing cells and body tissue resulting in:

  • healing from injuries

  • keeping fluid levels in balance

  • recovering from surgery, or illness

  • maintaining healthy vision and

  • balancing hormones and digestive enzymes

Without protein our body starts to break down muscle mass and bone strength. Seniors are not able to use protein as easily as younger people, so their bodies may need more protein to meet its needs. As we age, it is normal to lose muscle mass but the loss of strength can also cause one to fall. Strong bones and muscles allow one to get out of a chair, walk to the para’r dokan, or even play with grandchildren. Even simple tasks like flowering plants and performing daily puja at home are made easier by healthy and strong muscles.

How should seniors consume protein?

Seniors can start taking protein as part of breakfast, lunch and dinner through:

  • machh, eggs and chicken

  • nuts, seeds, cereals and beans

  • If seniors find it difficult to chew, protein drinks for the elderly made of soy can be given.

  • Dining may include milk, yogurt or doi as part of a meal plan for seniors.

We hope our readers will find this short article beneficial unlike the previous one which was a bit serious stuff.


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