Plant-based diets for older adults
As at any life stage, good nutrition is important for older adults. Make sure you're meeting your needs for protein, fibre, omega-3 fats, calcium, vitamins B6, B12 and D. Everyone over the age of 50 (whether vegan or not) requires reliable sources of vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements. Remember to also keep hydrated with water, vegetables and fruits, fortified plant milks and herbal teas. Enjoy varied, healthy exercise.
Well-planned plant-based diets can reduce the risk of heart disease and obsesity, helping to increase healthy life expectancy.
Eating plenty of brightly-coloured vegetables and fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains may help protect your eye health.
Protect your bone health by eating plenty of foods rich in calcium (like fortified plant milks and tofu); vitamin K (green leafy vegetables); vitamin D (foods fortified with vitamin D2, vitamin D2 supplements, Vegan Trademark registered vitamin D3 supplements from lichen); healthy sun exposure; vitamin B12 (fortified foods and supplements) and limiting your sodium (salt). Get regular, varied exercise too.
Plus of course, the same advice we've heard all our lives still applies as we get older: try your best to maintain a healthy weight and keep active.
If you do require hospital care...
...or have to spend time in a care home, rest assured The Vegan Society is working hard to improve catering standards. If you need more information, download our free booklet Vegan Catering Guide for Hospitals and Care Homes or request a printed copy by calling 0121 523 1730.
Elderly vegan pioneers
However long we've been vegan, we can take inspiration from many of the early vegan pioneers - Arthur Ling (founder of Plamil Foods), Eva Batt (author of the first vegan cookbook), Kathleen Jannaway (founder of Movement for Compassionate Living) and Donald Watson (founder of The Vegan Society) to name but a few. All of them lived fit and healthy lives well into their 80s. Donald Watson (right) continued to walk the hills and even climb mountains in his 90s.
Here's to growing older disgracefully!