If you are what you eat, are you balanced?

What if we told you that one of the most serious injuries facing older Australians is preventable and that nutrition plays a key role in reducing your risk of injury. Would you rethink your diet?

You’ve heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’. In this case, it means that if you’re not eating a well-balanced diet, you certainly won’t be well balanced, and this can lead to a fall! Falls can often result in very serious injury, hospital time, long-term injury or worse.

Many people aren’t aware that nutrition plays a key role in reducing falls risk and recovery but do understand that exercise, increased strength and balance can help. Poor nutrition (or malnutrition) can lead to reduced muscular strength and decreased mobility, which is where healthy eating and a balanced diet comes into play.

Malnutrition isn’t something that is limited to those who don’t eat enough. Many people with malnutrition aren’t even aware they have it until they have a fall or become ill. Malnutrition is a physical condition resulting from either an inadequate diet or an inability to absorb the nutrients we need.

So what can you do with your diet to help reduce the risk of falls?

Ensure you have a well-balanced diet

  • Include adequate energy (calorie) and protein intake to promote strength, mobility, balance and cognitive function

  • Include variety in your diet; whole grain foods, fruit, vegetables and dairy

  • Ensure you are getting enough vitamin D to help improve muscle function. The best source of vitamin D is actually the sun

  • Include lots of calcium to help minimise bone loss

  • Stay hydrated

  • Start the day with a glass of water

  • Drink water with every meal

  • Remain active

  • Stable weight promotes a reduction in falls risk

  • Regular exercise can help with muscular strength and balance

  • Incidental exercise is a great way to ensure you are moving (take the stairs, not the elevator, walk a few laps inside the shopping centre)

  • If you are concerned about your nutrition, it is recommended you consult a dietician. Mobile Rehab has dieticians that can visit you in your home, just call their friendly team on 1300 363 483 to make an appointment today.

    Aveo, together with Nutrition Professionals Australia, have developed the Better food and nutrition handbook to provide older Australians with the vital ingredients necessary to enjoy a healthy lifestyle for many years to come.

    Click below to download your copy. 

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