Elderly Nutrition and Goat Milk
Elderly nutrition is an important health concern for many adults. As we age, naturally occurring changes in our bodies create challenges for sufficient nutrient intake and absorption.
Goat milk and other goat dairy products have properties that can help meet these challenges to provide elderly adults with their nutritional requirements.
Goat milk is high in calcium, protein, beneficial fats, and many vitamins and minerals.
Keep reading to learn about the individual nutritional challenges of the elderly and how goat milk can help!
Challenge #1: Many elderly lack the energy or motivation to cook nutritious meals.
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, need no cooking or preparation. And, combined with other nutritious, ready-to-eat foods like fruit and bread or crackers, can provide a nutrient-dense, protein-rich meal with little effort.
Challenge #2: Gum and mouth problems, such as dentures and missing or loose teeth, along with reduced saliva production, create problems chewing and swallowing solid foods.
Goat milk and soft cheeses require little or no chewing, and can be combined with other soft foods, such as pureed fruit or flavorings, to provide variety. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, can be melted and served atop other soft foods like mashed potatoes for added taste and nutrients.
Challenge #3: Many elderly adults report that their tastes have changed, and that the textures of many foods are disagreeable.
Milk and dairy products have a mild taste, and the smooth textures are usually well-accepted. They also blend easily with many cooked foods, and milk, plain yogurt, or sour cream can be used to moisten foods that would otherwise be dry or difficult to chew.
Challenge #4: There is often a reduced sensation of thirst, causing many elderly to drink less than optimal amounts of liquids.
Milk is nearly 90% water, and can provide hydration in a form that many older adults find more appealing than water or juice. Milk is also easily flavored to suit particular tastes.
Challenge #5: Nearly a third of the elderly population have a significant reduction in the production of stomach acid, which interferes with their ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Goat milk has special properties that make it easy to digest. Goat Milk Fat and Corresponding Health Implications explains the role of goat milk fat in digestibility and other health issues, while Natural Minerals Nutrition from Goat Milk shows how consumption of goat milk aids in mineral metabolism, particularly important in combating softening of the bones and preventing fractures.
Challenge #6: Many elderly take diuretics, which cause elevated excretion of important minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Goat milk has 134% more potassium than cow's milk, and also has higher levels of magnesium.
Challenge #7: Food moves more slowly through the gastrointestinal tract of the elderly, often resulting in constipation.
Goat milk is highly digestible (see Challenge #5 above), and 100% of the protein in milk is absorbed before it reaches the large intestine. See Protein in Milk and the Unique Properties of Goat Milk Protein for more on the protein content of goat milk.
Cultured goat milk products, such as yogurt, buttermilk and kefir, also contain bacteria that are beneficial to gastrointestinal health. You can see how to easily make your own low-cost cultured products at home in Making Other Goat Milk Products.
Challenge #8: Lack of appetite combined with reduced nutrient absorption can cause weight loss and dwindling muscle tissue.
Whole goat milk is calorie and protein-rich, containing more fat, protein and amino acids than cow's milk.
Challenge #9: Many older adults are lactose intolerant, making the consumption of cow's milk difficult.
Goat milk may be better tolerated by lactose intolerant individuals, as explained in the article, Lactose Intolerance and Goat Milk.
Goat milk and other goat dairy products can provide an important contribution in supporting elderly nutritional requirements.
Goat milk is nutrient-dense, versatile and highly digestible.
The fat and protein content of goat milk contribute to weight and muscle maintenance, while vitamins and minerals provide necessary nutrients for body and cell function. Milk also contains simple carbohydrates that can provide an immediate source of energy.
Although some of these benefits can also be obtained from cow's milk, the additional nutrients and unique molecular properties of goat milk make it much more suitable for the challenges of elderly nutrition.
Conclusion? Goat milk dairy products may just be the great-tasting nutritional "supplement" that can benefit you or your elderly loved one!
For more detailed information on the nutritional properties of goat milk, see Milk Nutrition Facts and Information for Goat Milk and its links.
And, to super-charge your goat milk even more, read about the benefits that a cultured product call kefir can provide.
Elder One Stop is a great resource for many kinds of information on issues facing the elderly. For a broader perspective on the topic of dietary challenges for the elderly and the importance of proper nutrition for senior health, see the article, Elderly Nutrition Problems.
You may also be interested in reading how goat milk skin care products can help with the special challenges of mature skin in Elderly Skin Care and Goat Milk Products.
Articles are updated frequently, so check back here for any new information related to elderly nutrition and goat milk!
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