Seniors + Eggs: What is Healthy For Your Diet
Older adults are faced with a range of issues that can affect their food intake, including a reduction in appetite, loss of muscle mass and decreased mineral absorption. Additionally, the number of calories you need begins to decline making it necessary for every calorie you consume to be packed with nutrition in order to hit the mark.
Eggs are nutrient-dense, economical, easily prepared and soft in texture which makes them appropriate for people of this age group. Moreover eggs are an excellent source of all the 9 essential nutrients which senior citizens require (shown below) and Eggland’s Best eggs multiply the nutrient value of eggs even further!
• Vitamin B12: Senior citizens who lack vitamin B-12 are prone to heart diseases, breast cancer and some age related muscular degeneration. One serving of egg contains 33% Vitamin B12. This nutrient is important for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, and many older adults do not consume enough. Large eggs provide 20% DV vitamin B12.
• Folate/Folic Acid: Folic acid and Vitamin B12 can help to prevent memory loss in people over 60. Folate or folic acid are essentially from the vitamin B family. RDA for folate is 400 micrograms per day for women and men over 51. One serving of Eggs contains 24% of Folate.
• Calcium: Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones and fractures and even osteoporosis in elderly women. A standard egg contains 25 milligrams of calcium which is almost 2.6% of Recommended Daily Value.
• Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. It has also known to protect against number of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Eggs contain approximately 50 IU of vitamin D, most of which is concentrated in yolk. Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D (6% DV per large egg).
• Protein: One large egg provides 6 grams of protein (12% DV) with all the essential amino acids needed to help maintain healthy muscle. People over the age of 30 can lose 3-8% of muscle mass per year, and the rate of decline is even more significant after the age of 60. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that men over age 50 get at least 56 grams of protein daily. For women in this age bracket, 46 grams a day is the minimum.
• Omega-3 Fats: Omegas 3 are essential fatty acids and are important for us because they have a positive impact on the inflammatory process. These fatty acids help to reduce body’s inflammation and prevent chronic diseases like heart diseases and arthritis. Some new evidence also points to beneficial effect on reducing Alzheimer’s disease. One omega-3 egg typically contains 340 milligrams of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) and 75 to 100 milligrams of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
• Choline: New research is exploring how choline may have lasting effects on cognitive performance in middle-age to older adults. More than 90% of Americans fail to take in the recommended amount choline and adults 71 and older only consume about half the daily requirement. The adequate intake for people over 19 years old is 550 mg/day for men and 425 mg/day for women. Fortunately, two large eggs contain about 300mg of choline, or more than half of the recommended daily intake.
• Lutein + Zeaxanthin: The accumulation of lutein + zeaxanthin in the macula of the eye has been associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss for Americans aged 65 years and older. A large egg provides 252 mcg of bioavailable lutein + zeaxanthin and eating eggs regularly has been associated with improved cognitive performance in adults. It’s important to point out that the lutein is found in the yolk, so make sure to recommend eating the whole egg!
Why eggs are important for aging adults with advice from Braswell Family Farms (the second largest Eggland’s Best producer in the US).