by Growing Needs | Jan 30, 2023 | Food & Nutrition, Lifestyle & Wellness, Wellness
Unless you live an ascetic life choosing to drink only water, chances are, beverages make up a large part of your daily life. From morning pick me ups to lunch time accompaniments, tea breaks, after hour drinks and night caps, the average person in the street may drink up to four or five cups of beverages a day.
The elderly in Singapore are no different, and many of them enjoy a cup or two of their favorite beverage everyday. However, as we age, our bodies go through changes that make us more susceptible to certain health conditions. This means that the type of beverages we consume can have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing. Given that beverages are so much a part of our daily lives, it is important to consciously make wiser beverage choices as we mature in age.
So, what are some healthier beverage choices for the elderly in Singapore?
Water is always the best choice, and seniors should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This will help to keep their bodies hydrated and prevent conditions such as constipation and urinary tract infections.
Coffee and tea are also popular choices among the elderly, and they can actually be beneficial to seniors in moderation. Both coffee and tea contain antioxidants which can help to protect the body against free radicals. However, it is important to note that coffee contains caffeine while some teas may contain high levels of fluoride. Therefore, seniors should limit their intake of these beverages.
For seniors who love to have their tea, there are plenty of options available. From hawker options of “Diao-yu”(Chinese Tea Bags), “Teh-O”(Black Tea), “Teh-C”(Tea with Condensed Milk), “Teh” (Tea with Milk) to more up-class western options of single-origin and blended teas from the likes of TWG, T2, Gryphon and Clipper Teas, Singapore offers a plethora of choices for tea drinkers to choose from. Just remember to go easy on the sugar when you are having your tea, especially with our national concern about developing diabetes from a high sugar diet.
Herbal teas are a good alternative for seniors who want to enjoy the benefits of tea without the caffeine. Chamomile, ginger and lavender tea are some examples of herbal teas that can help to promote relaxation and improve digestion.
Likewise, coffee drinkers also have the option of the traditional coffee shop offerings of “Kopi” and “Kopi-O”. These come with customisable options of going “Kosong” (without sugar), “Siew Dai” (less sugar”), “Kao” (intense), “Tid-lo” (straight shot without diluting with water) and “Po” (thin). Use these options wisely to customise your coffee for more healthy options. For instance, for those who have health concerns but really need to satisfy your coffee crave, you can always order a “Kopi-O Kosong Po” – Coffee black, without sugar, thin. This would be your Coke Zero equivalent in the “La-Kopi” world.
Gourmet coffees are another good choice to consider. Gourmet coffees are made from high-quality beans that have been grown in ideal conditions and roasted to perfection. They are often blended with other premium beans to create unique flavour profiles. This offers coffee drinkers exciting discovery journeys to find a blend that best fits their taste preferences.
Gourmet coffees are best appreciated without sugar and they can offer certain health benefits when consumed occasionally and in moderation. If you do choose to consume, do note that as they are highly caffeinated, when over-indulged, they can cause dehydration and heart palpitations. Seniors may want to opt for decaffeinated options and accompany their cuppa with an additional cup of water.
As we grow older, water is still what our bodies need and what we should be consuming most on a daily basis. We can still however have our occasional tea and coffee fixes as long as we consume in moderation and make conscious choices to customize them to make them more healthy for our bodies.
To help you along on this journey, Growing Needs Sg will be posting more detailed discussions on Coffee and Tea beverages in future posts. Do stay tuned and follow our posts for more exciting and informative discussions ahead.
Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.