The Importance of Breakfast in Old Age

Skipping meals in old age is an indicator of malnutrition. Elderly people often do not have breakfast in the mornings. However, after an all-night hunger, having a breakfast is of utmost importance to start the day healthy and to feel good during the day. Although there are not many studies showing the relationship between breakfast and cognitive function in the elderly; studies conducted on individuals over 45 years old found that consumption of milk and dairy products, cereals, vegetables, fruits (fresh or dry) increases cognitive performance such as verbal skills. This finding indicates the importance of having adequate and balanced breakfast, especially in periods when cognitive functions begin to decrease with age. In the elderly, only skipping breakfast could considered as an indication of malnutrition. Especially in people over the age of 60, meeting the need of vitamin B12, calcium and folic acid need is of great importance. For this reason, having a breakfast and proper selection of nutrient content in breakfast can prevent energy and nutrient deficiencies in the elderly. Nutrient content of foods consumed in breakfast is important as having a regular breakfast in the mornings. Instead of tea; milk, freshly squeezed fruit juices or herbal tea should be preferred. Furthermore, instead of eating foods with high calorie contents such as jam and butter; foods that are rich in vitamins, proteins and minarels should be consumed such as low-fat cheese, eggs, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Dyt. Ayşe ÖZGÖKER