The Revolutionary Benefits of Adding Beef Liver to the Aged Care Menu
The problem with poor nutrition in the aged care sector
The aged care sector is facing many challenges when it comes to diet. Poor nutrition is a major problem, and it can lead to serious health problems.
One of the main issues is many elderly people do not get enough of the right nutrients. This is often due to a lack of food variety, and it can lead to deterioration in the form of malnutrition and even starvation.
In 2018, The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety investigated the quality standards of aged care in Australia. The final report published in 2021 highlights significant improvements to be made. The lack of focus on nutrition was also compounded by poor staffing levels in aged care facilities leading to inadequate care overall.
The new standards require aged care facilities to provide residents with a choice of foodstuffs on the menu that not only meet individual dietary needs and preferences, but that also align with their cultural beliefs. This includes adequate hydration, as well as ongoing monitoring to safeguard optimal health. Aged Care facilities can now be audited at any time to check standards are being upheld.
Another problem is that many elderly people are not able to digest or absorb the nutrients from their food properly. This can be due to a number of factors, such as a lack of digestive enzymes, a lack of stomach acid, and reduced intestinal efficiency.
There is a simple and inexpensive solution!
Adding beef liver to the aged care menu!
How we can solve the problem of poor nutrition in aged care
Today, although progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. As our ageing population increases (by 2030, 1 in 6 people will be aged 60 years plus – and these percentages are on the rise) we need to be better versed in the components required to make a real difference in the quality of life of our elderly.
As people age, their livers can become less efficient at regulating iron and this can lead to an iron deficiency ‘anaemia’ that affects around 10% of the elderly. However, the iron in beef liver is highly bioavailable, and with the addition of copper, a micronutrient contained in the liver, it can be easily absorbed by the body.
Iron can be sourced from red meat, poultry, fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), and greens yet many elderly people do not consume enough of these foods. Adding beef liver would help older people maintain iron stores and prevent an iron deficiency occurring.
The many benefits of adding beef liver to the menu in an aged care setting
Beef liver contains essential amino acids that are vital for the body’s protein synthesis, making it a perfect source of protein. It also contains iron, zinc, selenium, and Vitamin A, for developing and supporting healthy bones, skin, and muscles.
The benefits list goes on!
Vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, and folate are all essential for good brain health. Beef liver also contains choline, which has been linked to increased mental function and focus.
Adding beef liver to the aged care menu can also provide elderly people with an important source of energy. It is loaded with healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats, which can provide stable energy for an older person.
We think of beef liver as nature’s ready-made package, providing health and vitality.
Loss of appetite or difficulty chewing are factors to consider in aged care. Liver can be diced and it adds variety and boosts flavour to a dull menu.Beef liver is also inexpensive, aligning well with age care facilities operating with tight budgets.
In the last decade organ meat has fallen out of culinary fashion, but we believe it is vital and is a missing link in an important chain in a nutritious diet.
Beef liver is also a good source of dietary fibre, that helps improve digestion and reduces constipation. Fibre also helps to slow down the absorption of glucose in the gut, thus it is beneficial for those with diabetes, or those at risk of it.
Omega-3 fatty acids make beef liver important for brain health. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids found in beef liver can improve mental performance, focus, and memory in elderly people, making it an important addition to the aged care menu.
Wait…there’s more, include Kelp for even more benefits
Similarly, iodine is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in thyroid function, which regulates metabolism. An iodine deficiency can progress into a Goiter, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. Kelp, a type of seaweed, is an excellent source of iodine. Many modern Western diets do not include enough iodine-rich foods, and older individuals are less likely to consume seafood or seaweed.
Adding kelp helps to support individual iodine levels and a healthy thyroid function.
Boost the nutrition in a typical aged care meal plan by adding beef liver and kelp
It’s important to provide a variety of nutritious foods in each meal to ensure individuals are receiving adequate essential nutrients. To also adapt to any individual dietary restrictions and provide choice. Opt for foods with no added sugar, seed oils, and sodium and prioritise protein and good fats throughout the day to maintain muscle.
The bottom line
Liver for iron and kelp for iodine is important for older individuals.
There is no better time than now to start including beef liver in the aged care menu.
These tips will help you create the perfect menu with beef liver that happy recipients will enjoy!
Grassland Nutrition offers organic sourced Australian-made freeze-dried beef liver and beef liver and kelp in powder form that is pure and top quality. Adding it to recipes in this form is super easy.
Life is too short not to live it fully. We want to help people live the life they want to live. Here’s to thriving at every age to experience life to the fullest, and especially through the ‘winter years.’
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