Guide to Healthy Senior Eating
Having a well-balanced diet is an important factor in maintaining good health at any age but especially as you grow older. Proper nutrition helps to keep optimal weight, stay energized and active and get all the necessary nutrients. It also reduces the risks of certain diseases and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart diseases.
In order to have healthy eating habits as a senior, you need to consume food rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, and consume plenty of water.
Read the following tips to get a better idea of what makes healthy senior eating.
Challenges of older age
Senior years bring inevitable changes in the body and mind and it usually starts with mild memory loss, decreased sensitivity and physical ailments and difficulties. Some seniors experience a decreased sense of smell and taste which may lead to loss of appetite, then there is arthritis and physical pain that makes grocery shopping and meal preparation a challenge. In addition, taking prescribed medications can have certain side effects that can also make healthy eating difficult. All these factors combined can lead to poor nutrition that can further compromise good health.
One solution can be joining a luxury retirement community where you will be relieved of any maintenance work, but you will have many amenities to help you stay active and healthy, such as a vegetable and herb garden, a swimming pool, a golf course, a gym and a clubhouse where you can enjoy in fun activities with other residents. This means you will have a stress-free life so maintain health can be your number one priority.
Essential nutrients for seniors
For a well-balanced meal, you need to incorporate a wide and varied range of nutrients, such as food rich in carbs, protein and at least five portions of fruits and vegetables. You also need to include healthy fatty acids, iron, calcium, fibre, magnesium, vitamins C, D and B12. In addition, you need to take in at least eight glasses of water every day.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for all everyone’s health but particularly for the older adults as they help in preventing inflammation that is linked to arthritis, cancer and heart diseases. It also helps in lowering the risks of Alzheimer’s and in slowing down the progress of AMD. These healthy acids can be found in flaxseed, in fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, canola oil, soybeans and walnuts.
Foods rich in fibre
Due to the thickening of the walls in the gastrointestinal walls, the digestive system tends to slow down in older age which can lead to constipation. What fibre-rich foods such as whole grain products, vegetables and fruits and nuts can do is stimulate better bowel movement, prevent constipation and relieve any stomach issues.
Essential minerals and vitamins
Minerals and vitamins are essential micronutrients needed for our bodies to function properly and a well-balanced diet is what will ensure you consume them all regularly.
In senior years, magnesium, calcium and iron are essential for healthy bones, heart and strong immune system. Mineral deficiency can cause brittle and fragile bones, lethargy and anaemia.
Vitamins C, D and B12 have an important role in preventing osteoporosis, cancer, heart diseases, diabetes 2, MS and help in maintaining the nervous system, healthy bones and skin.
A well-balanced diet, good social life and support, as well as an active lifestyle, can greatly help in ensuring you will live your golden years healthy and concern-free.