Healthy eating is important, but it becomes more vital as you age. As you grow older, you start experiencing slowed metabolism and weakened senses, making you prone to chronic diseases and illnesses.
Eating well will help boost your energy levels, increase resistance to disease, sharpen the mind, and maintain a healthy lifestyle and emotional balance. Healthy eating choices don’t have to be complicated. You will find these senior nutrition and diet tips helpful.
1. Consider supplements
Sometimes, when personal preferences or health conditions make you avoid certain foods, you might find it hard to get all the healthy nutrients that you need. The body may also find it hard to absorb certain nutrients with age. Consider using supplements for important nutrients like calcium, vitamins B12 and D, amino acids, and magnesium. The supplements come in different forms, as shown on Steel Supplements’ website.
2. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods
Eat foods that are low in sodium, rich in vitamin D, and high in fiber. A healthy plate of foodshould consist of lean proteins (seafood, beans, lean meats, beans), low-fat dairy (milk and its products). It also has whole grain (whole wheat products, brown rice), fruits and vegetables (Any purple, red, orange, or green fruits), nuts, and seeds. Also, opt for grilled, broiled, or boiled food options as opposed to fried ones.
3. Stay hydrated
According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the human body is 60% water. This amount slightly differs with hydration levels, sex, and age. Seeing how important water is, you should focus on staying hydrated. Take water and other fluids like tea, fat-free milk, and fresh juices throughout the day since, besides hydration, you will be safe from constipation, confusion, and urinary tract infections. If you have any bladder control issues, talk with your doctor about how much water you should drink and when.
4. Minimize table salt use
With age comes a decline in your sense of taste, and as much as we use salt and spices to flavor our food, it can cause health issues like high blood pressure. Go easy on the table salt and opt for sodium-free or low-sodium flavoring alternatives.
Healthy eating calls for the use of fresh ingredients and dried herbs and spices to season your food like sage, pepper, paprika, garlic, rosemary, ginger, basil, cayenne, and other fresh herbs. The best way to monitor your sodium and spice intake is by preparing your healthy meals at home.
5. Stay social
Maintain social connections with your family, friends, and the community. You can also engage them in physical activities that work for you for a few minutes a day. Consult a healthcare professional to guide you on how far you can push your physical activities. Spending quality time with a social network that you care about leaves you feeling refreshed and mentally stable.
6. Improve your immunity
As we age, we become predisposed to diseases like diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, and cancer, as our immune systems begin to weaken. Simple exercises and highly nutritious foods can help boost your immune system and build your resistance to illnesses.
A plant-based diet and intake of foods rich in flavonoid-rich and omega-3 fatty acids can greatly improve your immune function. Avoid foods rich in saturated fats and added sugars and have more fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fatty fish, and whole grains.
7. Consider softer foods
Depending on the age and the condition of your teeth, it may be best to begin incorporating softer foods unless you have dentures or dental implants. Softer foods are best for teeth and gums that are getting weaker. This is very common as we age. As we advance from young adulthood into getting older, many health issues occur. This is a common fact that everyone knows about such as sensory loss (such as hearing), chronic pain, infections, and even oral health such as the loss of teeth.
Oral health can be very difficult to maintain through the aging process. It also negatively impacts life, making the quality harder. One of the workarounds for this issue would include integrating softer foods into the diet. While soft foods are very important, another aspect of aging is having to deal with a dry mouth. This is why it’s very important for seniors to stay hydrated and to consume nutritious, soft, and hydrating foods. Softer foods also help with chewing and swallowing as well. These are often foods that are grounded, chopped, and pureed, also tender enough to easily slice through with a knife.
There are thankfully a variety of foods that can be eaten which are softer, so thankfully you don’t have a limitation. Some ideas for soft foods can include:
These are just a few examples, but there are plenty of options in what can be soft enough for a senior to eat. It’s just very important to continue eating a well-balanced diet that is full of nutrition.
Taking a proactive role in staying healthy is key in life. Proper nutrition is key for seniors looking to enjoy a healthy, long life. Seek medical attention when your body doesn’t feel right, and don’t make any assumptions.