Have you ever thought about healthy diet and eating well? As we age, we should think about this issues more serious than ever. “You are what you eat” so that you can gain a positive outlook in the future, keeping emotionally balanced by eating well.
What are benefits from a healthy nutrition?
- Live longer and stronger – Good nutrition keeps muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong for the long haul. Eating vitamin-rich food boosts immunity and fights illness-causing toxins. A proper diet reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, cancer, and anemia. In addition, eating sensibly means consuming fewer calories and more nutrient dense foods, always keeping weight in check.
- Sharpen the mind – Scientists know that key nutrients are essential for the brain to do its job. Research shows that people who eat a selection of brightly colored fruit, leafy veggies, certain fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Feel better – Eating well is a feast for your five senses! Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a self-esteem boost. It’s all connected when your body feels good you feel happier inside and out.
What your body needs?
Older adults can feel better immediately and stay healthy for the future by choosing healthy foods. A balanced diet and physical activity contribute to a higher quality of life and enhanced independence as you age.
Senior food pyramid guidelines
- Fruit – Focus on whole fruits rather than juices for more fiber and vitamins and aim for around 1 ½ to 2 servings each day. Break the apple and banana rut and go for color-rich pickings like berries or melons.
- Veggies – Color is your credo in this category. Choose anti-oxidant rich dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as oranges and yellows, such as carrots, squash, and yams. Try for 2 to 2 ½ cups of veggies every day.
- Calcium – Aging bone health depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Seniors need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale.
- Grains – Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and a higher fiber count. If you’re not sure, look for pasta, breads, and cereals that list “whole” in the ingredient list. Seniors need 6-7 ounces of grains each day and one ounce is about 1 slice of bread.
- Protein – Seniors need about .5 grams per pound of body weight. Simply divide your body weight in half to know how many grams you need. A 130-pound woman will need around 65 grams of protein a day. A serving of tuna, for example, has about 40 grams of protein. Vary your sources with more fish beans, peas, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, and seeds.
Important vitamin and minerals
- Water – Seniors are prone to dehydration because our bodies lose some of its ability to regulate fluid levels and our sense of thirst is dulled. Post a note in your kitchen reminding you to sip water every hour and with meals to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and possibly confusion.
- Vitamin B – After 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid making it difficult to absorb vitamin B-12—needed to help keep blood and nerves vital. Get the recommended daily intake (2.4 mcg) of B12 from fortified foods or a vitamin.
- Vitamin D – We get most of vitamin D—essential to absorbing calcium—through sun exposure and a few foods (fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified milk). With age, our skin is less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D, so consult your doctor about supplementing with fortified foods or a multivitamin.