Updated: Sep 20
Protein is essential for various functions in the body. It plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, supporting immune function, and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Additionally, consuming an adequate amount of protein can help with weight management, as it helps you feel fuller for longer.
It's especially important for athletes, as it aids in muscle recovery and growth. Ensuring you have enough protein in your diet can contribute to overall health and well-being.
As people age, their bodies tend to undergo various physiological changes that can affect their protein needs. Here are a few reasons why older individuals may require more protein:
1. Reduced Muscle Mass: Aging often leads to a natural decline in muscle mass and strength, a process known as sarcopenia. Adequate protein intake is crucial for preserving muscle mass and function, which is important for maintaining mobility and reducing the risk of falls and fractures.
2. Decreased Protein Utilization: Older adults may experience a reduced ability to efficiently use dietary protein. This means they may require a slightly higher intake to achieve the same muscle-preserving benefits as younger individuals.
3. Wound Healing and Immune Function: Protein is essential for wound healing, immune function, and overall tissue repair. Older adults may face a higher risk of illness or injury, making sufficient protein intake particularly important for recovery.
4. Digestive Efficiency: With age, there can be a decrease in digestive efficiency, which may impact the absorption and utilization of nutrients, including protein. This can further emphasize the importance of getting an adequate protein intake.
5. Appetite and Taste Changes: Older adults may experience changes in appetite or taste preferences, which could potentially lead to reduced food intake. Prioritizing protein-rich foods becomes even more crucial in such cases to ensure adequate nutrition.
6. Chronic Health Conditions: Certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes or kidney disease, can alter protein metabolism. In some cases, individuals with these conditions may have specific protein needs and should work closely with healthcare providers to determine appropriate intake levels.
It's worth noting that while older adults may require more protein, they still need a balanced diet with adequate intake of other essential nutrients.
Please reach out to Lindsey or Bo to help ensure that you are hitting your dietary recommendations that are specific to your an individual needs.
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