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Diet Of Advanced Life

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



As age comes on, the nutritive conditions of youthhood are reversed, the body can no longer digest and appropriate sufficient to meet its destructive losses, and there is a decrease of strength and weight. The tissues shrink, as we see in the shriveled hands and wrinkled brow, the hair is changed in composition, the bones become more earthy and brittle, the cartilages ossify, there is a general diminution of fat, and a loss of fluids in all parts except the brain, which becomes more watery. The stomach participates iii the general decline, its diminished and weakened juices becoming less capable of dissolving the necessary food; the circulation is retarded and the general vitality lowered. As the solvent powers of the stomach begin to be enfeebled, and the appetite becomes languid, elderly people should be admonished to exercise care in selecting food, and not waste the power they have on refractory, indigestible aliments. Young and tender meats, strong broths, milk, light, well-baked bread, and tender succulent vegetables, tax the digestive organs least. Nor should they commit the error of supposing that the waning powers of advancing life can be sustained by increasing the quantity of food eaten. Dr. Cheyne remarked more than a hundred years ago, " Every man after fifty ought to begin to lessen the quantity of his aliment; and if he would avoid great and dangerous distempers, and preserve his senses and faculties clear to the last, he should go on every seven years abating gradually." When hints like these are neglected, and persons persist in a high and hearty diet, keeping up a plethoric state of the system, serious and fatal consequences often ensue. The blood vessels of the brain are not only weaker than those of any other part of the body, but they derive no support as other vessels do from the elastic pressure of surrounding muscles. In the imperfect nutrition and growing debility of advancing age, these vessels participate, so that with over-fullness there arises liability of their giving away, as in brain congestion or apoplexy.



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