While we often hear about the importance of drinking milk during childhood and adolescence, milk also offers many benefits to people in their 60s and beyond. Toronto elder care professionals discuss 4 important reasons for older adults to get more milk in their diet.
1. Provides Potassium
Potassium is a nutrient many seniors who skip dairy products lack in sufficient quantity. Too little potassium and too much sodium in the blood are risk factors for high blood pressure, also known as the “silent killer,” which is common among older adults. High blood pressure in seniors increases the risk of chronic kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. Most seniors already consume too much salt in their diets, but boosting potassium intake can help reduce this risk.
2. Provides Glutathione
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between milk intake and levels of an antioxidant called glutathione in the brain in older adults. Study participants who drank milk a short while before being tested had higher levels of glutathione, which is believed to reduce oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions.
3. Provides Calcium
One of the primary benefits of milk is the high level of calcium, an essential nutrient for building and maintaining bone strength in seniors. Calcium is extremely important for preventing osteoporosis, especially for senior women. A single cup of nonfat milk has almost 300 mg of calcium, which is almost half the recommended daily intake for seniors.
4. Provides Vitamin D
Humans produce vitamin D in the skin through exposure to sunlight. While the sun is the source of most of the vitamin D in the body, the skin becomes less effective at producing this essential vitamin with age. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones because it helps the body absorb calcium. Milk is a good source of vitamin D for boosting calcium intake and reducing your loved one’s risk of osteoporosis and fractures. A serving of reduced-fat milk contains 2 IUs of vitamin D, one-fifth of the recommended daily intake.
Encourage your loved one to consume milk regularly and reap these health benefits. If you are looking for other ways to promote your loved one’s health and wellness, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in and respite care Toronto families can count on. Our caregivers are expertly trained and can help your loved one make healthy food choices and exercise regularly to maintain good health for as long as possible. To learn more about our in-home care services, call a Care Manager at (416) 488-8777 and schedule a free in-home consultation.