The relationship between dietary intake and the six dimensions of wellness in older adults
Keywords:Diet, Nutrition, Wellness, Older adult, Aged
The purpose of this review was to provide older adults with a clear idea of how dietary patterns can improve wellness, and how wellness can improve dietary patterns. A large portion of the US population is advancing in age and there is potential for an associated plateau or decline in wellness with age. Therefore, strategies to improve personal wellness and dietary patterns should be considered. This review examined the associations between dietary intake and each of the six dimensions of wellness, as defined by the National Wellness Institute, in adults 50 years old or older. A cause-and-effect relationship of specific dietary patterns on intellectual, occupational, emotional, and physical wellness was explored. In addition, studies regarding the cause-and-effect relationship of spiritual and social wellness on dietary choice were evaluated. Essentially, dietary intake and wellness were closely related. The research suggests that intellectual, occupational, emotional, and physical wellness may improve with dietary changes. Nutrition status may improve with enrichment in social and spiritual wellness. Overall, older adults can enhance wellness by following a few simple guidelines: increase the intake of plant-based foods, avoid processed foods, engage in a spiritual community that encourages healthy lifestyles, and seek dining companions in order to increase caloric intake.
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