Hemp for senior citizens! Sounds weird, right? But it’s not! Healthy eating is important at every stage of our lives, especially as we age. With reduced strength and mobility being a concern for many seniors, it’s important to get the right combination of nutrition and physical exercise.
Hemp seeds are nutrient-rich, low calorie “superfood” that can help senior citizens to prevent and/or manage chronic health conditions. It may also help them get stronger and more energised, allowing them to enjoy the golden years of their lives.
Nutritional Value of Hemp
Hemp seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are an excellent source of protein, essential fatty acids, and dietary minerals and vitamins such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, etc. Hemp seeds also provide a considerable amount of dietary fibre.
Adding hemp seeds to our diet is the easiest and simplest way to boost our nutritional intake and stabilise our metabolism. Though hemp seeds, powder, or oil is safe to use for people of all age groups, they particularly help senior citizens maintain healthy levels of dietary nutrients in the body.
Why do seniors need more protein?
As we get older, our nutritional needs, appetite, and food habits demand to be changed for plenty of reasons.
Additionally, advancing age causes impaired uptake of nutrients because of reduced pancreatic secretion and decreased absorptive capacity of the small intestine.
Protein makes up around 50% of bone volume and one-third of its mass.. Loss of bone mass (osteopenia) that occurs with age is closely related to protein intake including the protein source, calcium intake, weight loss, and acid/base balance of the diet.
A study found that seniors may need noticeably more protein to avoid loss of bone strength. As protein also helps with weight loss, this might lessen the strain on bones and joints in the senior population.
The progressive loss of muscle mass and function is a concern in advanced age. “This condition, sarcopenia, is characterized by a gradual loss in skeletal muscle mass, strength and function; and contributes substantially to frailty, disability, physical dependence, and mortality in older adults.” Nutritional interventions, using protein supplementation, have been shown to have beneficial effects on muscle health.
5 Benefits of Hemp for Senior Citizens
- Hemp seed powder is an excellent source of lean vegetarian protein, containing more than 65% of easily digestible and readily absorbed protein. Eating lean proteins boosts metabolism, benefits digestion, and aids in gaining muscle mass.
- It also contains all the essential amino acids our body requires to repair muscles, regulates nervous system and brain functions.
- It is rich in fibres that improve blood sugar, healthier gut bacteria, and reduce risk of bowel cancer.
- Hemp powder is rich in essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, and high levels of polyunsaturated fats needed to maintain good cardiovascular health.
- Hemp powder is a natural source of many significantly beneficial minerals; particularly iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
Hemp for Senior Citizens | How to Use?
Adding hemp powder, seeds, or oil into a diet is pretty simple. For senior citizens, oil and powder are more preferred options since they have a smooth consistency. Some ways in which you can use hemp for senior citizens are:
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of hemp oil to soups, salads, or porridge.
- Use hemp powder in roti, chappati, and parantha batter.
- Mix hemp powder with a glass of milk.
- Use hemp oil to shallow fry or season raw vegetables and salads.
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