How to Ensure You are Eating Healthy as You Age
Eating well is crucial as we age. It can help stave off many health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and different cardiovascular conditions. Eating well can also help stop chronic conditions from getting worse. Healthy eating is not just about cutting certain foods from your diet as it also entails enjoying foods with wholesome ingredients that are fresh and tasty.
The Benefits of Improving Your Diet
A good and healthy diet is essential for living longer. Good food and meeting all your daily nutritional needs can help the body fight and remove toxins, boost immunity, reduce the risk of different cardiovascular conditions, and help keep your weight in check. Combined with appropriate physical activity, healthy eating can also help you live independently for much longer.
Eating a balanced diet has also been shown to sharpen their mind. People who eat fruits, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, leafy vegetables and nuts have improved focus and a much lower risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s. Foods rich in antioxidants such as green tea can also enhance mental alertness and memory, both of which decline as we age.
By increasing your energy and helping you look better, the right foods can also improve your mood and self-esteem. If your body feels good and strong, you are more likely to feel happier.
Creating a Healthy Senior Diet
A healthy senior diet includes foods that are processed as little as possible. In other words, these foods should be as close to their natural form as possible. Note that it might take some experimentation to find a diet that works for you. The reason is that people respond to different foods and diets in different ways depending on their genetics and numerous other factors.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Apples and bananas are both great for different reasons, but there are many other fruits you could add to your diet. Berries, melons, and other fruits rich in color are great alternatives or additions. Two to three servings a day should provide lots of benefits.
For vegetables, choose those that are rich in antioxidants and color. Options include broccoli, spinach, and kale for the former and squash and carrots for the latter.
As you age, it would be a good idea to consider software fruits and vegetables, especially if you find some of them hard to swallow. Consider chopping your vegetables and adding them to soups, casseroles, and baked goods.
Increase Calcium Intake and Reduce Sodium Intake
Good bone health is important as you age, and how healthy your bones remain as you age depends on how much calcium you take. Adequate calcium intake can prevent bone fractures and osteoporosis. Good sources of calcium include kale, almonds, tofu, and different dairy products.
High sodium intake can increase the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. It can also put a lot of strain on your kidneys, something that is detrimental as you age. There are numerous low-sodium sauces and soups that you easily find nowadays. You can also opt for salt with lower sodium levels.
Hydrating is important as we age, and some people lose their sense of thirst as they age. Some of the medications you might be taking might also require that you take plenty of water and stay hydrated. This is why it is a good idea to drink water and take foods and beverages with high water content.
Dehydration is a potential risk for those with dysphagia, a swallowing difficulty that is often associated with age. In addition to ensuring a senior always has access to water, it is also important to find ways to ensure they are taking enough of it and consuming the right foods and beverages to keep them hydrated. One of the best ways of doing this is using food thickeners. These increase the thickness of foods and beverages to make them easier to swallow. Instant thickeners like SimplyThick for people with dysphagia ensure their food and hydration needs are met.
Include Different Types of Proteins
High-quality protein can improve resistance to depression, anxiety, and stress, improve moods and even improve mental clarity. However, not all types and sources of protein are great for you, especially when consumed in larger quantities. It is best to limit the amount of red meat you consume as you age and instead opt for plant-based proteins. Adding seeds, nuts, beans, and peas to your diet should help you meet your protein requirements.
Eat More Fiber
As we age, our digestive systems become less efficient. Eating enough fiber can help improve this system’s efficiency while also improving your skin and lowering the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Healthy eating is critical as we age. We ought to know what to include or exclude from our diets to ensure the best outcomes and remain both healthy and strong.