Aging is inevitable? Your skin will start to sag, your bones will get weaker, and your hair will turn grey. There is no escape from growing old. However, it doesn’t have to be all that sad as it sounds. Eating a balanced diet and healthy foods can help you age well. Eating the right amount with the right nutrients can either delay the effects of aging or positively change the way you feel, look and age. Most importantly, the right nutrition for older adults can also help you boost your immune system and prevent age-related diseases.
Importance of Healthy Eating for Adults
You are what you eat, and your daily food choices affect your health, mood and energy levels. Therefore, good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition for older adults is as important as for anyone. Eating right in right portion can help you achieve good fitness levels and maintain a healthy weight. Older adults are often at the risk of age-related diseases, infections, heart disease, chronic medical conditions, mobility and joint concerns, injuries, and falls. The key to avoid or delay these issues is only through a balanced diet for the elderly. For example, cancer of the prostate, colon, and pancreas is related to fat present in food. Osteoporosis and diabetes are related to the absence of certain micronutrients.
At the same time, elderlies are even prone to mental issues like hypertension, anxiety, depression, and dementia. After reaching retirement, they become vulnerable to feel lonely and isolated. Proper nutrition can alleviate such feelings and contribute to your mental health incredibly. Studies suggest that good nutrition is related to a cheerful mood and good memory. It can also help you feel energized and motivated.
What Is Balanced Nutrition for Older Adults?
Good health and a balanced diet go hand in hand. However, as you grow older your nutritional needs undergo a change. What you needed when you were in your 20s may not be right for you when you are sixty plus. You will probably need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight because you may not be able to burn as many calories as you used to when you were in your 30s. Meanwhile, with the age there comes a drastic change in appetite. Many older adults complain of reduced or diminished appetite. One of the major causes could be existing medical conditions and the side effects of their medications.
Despite diminishing appetite and reduced caloric need, older adults must meet their nutrient needs. A good diet for the elderly must include nutrient-rich foods that are great sources of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Some of the most important nutrient-dense foods for seniors as suggested by experts are:
Vegetables and fruits
Beans and lentils,
Nuts and seeds,
Low-fat dairy products,
Seafood, poultry, and eggs
And lean protein.
The right portion of these foods
Healthy Diet for Elderly: Tips
Incorporate a variety of foods: The key to a healthy lifestyle is balanced nutrition. It can only be achieved by consuming a variety of foods. Incorporating balanced portions of different type of foods will ensure that you get all of the nutrients in the right amount. A healthy diet for the elderly must include dairy products, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
Balance your plate portions: A good senior nutrition program suggests that half of your plate must include fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, while the other must include grains and starches. This way each and every meal will leave you feeling full yet energized. Avoid overeating or dieting. This will leave you feeling lethargic and exhausted.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated can prevent several problems and it can reduce the chances of infection, dehydration and more. However, as you age sense of thirst may not be as strong as before. This might lead to neglect and dehydration. Therefore, the consumption of more liquids and at least 3 liters of water a day is highly recommended. You might be surprised to know that water is one of the greatest sources of energy to our body. You can even consume your favorite beverages like juice, tea, and coffee in moderate amounts. However, physicians recommend staying away from beverages that are high on sugar content.
Reduce table salt portions: You may not be aware, but table salt is the source of several health concerns. By reducing the salt intake to healthy levels, you can reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack. Alongside, it is beneficial in reducing hypertension and blood pressure levels. The ideal limit of sodium intake for adults is 1500 milligrams.
Reduce sugar consumption: Not only salt, but refined sugar can host a lot of medical conditions. Refined sugar contains nothing but empty calories. It has zero nutritional value and it can addictive. The best source of sugar is through natural fruits and dairy products. Adults must gradually work towards reducing sugar consumption.
Include healthy fats: Fats are as important as any other micronutrient. However, choosing the right amount of good fats is important. It can really boost your immune system and provide you with enough energy to get through the day. All you have to do is you must avoid saturated and trans fats and replace them with healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil, ghee, and more. This will keep your bones stronger and joints healthy.
Add supplements to your diet: Sometimes you may not be able to get essential nutrients from all the food that you are eating. If you are allergic to dairy or your doctor has asked you to avoid certain foods, you might develop some deficiency. Therefore, you must consider taking supplements that will help you achieve the right nutrient levels to maintain overall health.
Stay physically active: Apart from good nutrition and healthy foods for seniors, what is more important is to stay physically active. Go for a walk or do yoga in the park, it is important to keep moving to have a healthy life. Also, choose your portion size depending on your activity level. If you are less active, you must choose smaller food portions.
Socialize: Old age can often make you feel disdain. However, don’t give up on socializing and social interaction. Whenever you can, eat with friends or family. This will make your mealtime enjoyable and fun. And it will have a positive impact on your body.
Healthy eating for adults is of utmost importance. Eating wisely and mindfully will help you make better food choices and keep you healthy. Growing old may not be the best thing happening to you, but it doesn’t have to be worst either. Therefore, eat well, feel stronger and stay active to enjoy your twilight years to the fullest.