At any age, it is important to eat nutritious food so that you can keep your body healthy. What constitutes a “balanced diet” looks different at different stages of life, so it is helpful to know what you need so that your body can function optimally.
The food you need will undoubtedly change as you grow older. You may need more of some things and less of other things. Being on top of what your body needs will help you avoid many potential complications. Follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the right nutrition as an adult.
Advantages and disadvantages of proper nutrition
By eating healthy, you can reduce your risk of disease, depression and disability. A good diet reduces your chances of developing a non-communicable chronic disease and improves your mental health. As we will discuss, various vitamins and minerals will also improve your memory, bone strength and blood pressure.
If you do not follow a healthy diet as you age, there will be many adverse effects. Many older people experience decreased mobility. If you do not adjust your eating habits to suit it, you may lose your independence as your body begins to experience more health problems.
In addition, poor dietary changes can lead to malnutrition, so it is important to monitor whether you are living alone.
How to maintain a nutritious diet as a senior
There is a lot of information about senior nutrition and it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are six great tips to make sure you are feeding your body properly.
1. Eat lots of vitamins and minerals
You should take a decent amount of vitamins and minerals. Each will give you different health benefits. Here is a list of some essentials and what they do for you:
- Vitamin B12: This vitamin helps you make red blood cells, increases nerve function and reduces your risk of heart disease. B12 is available in preserved cereals, animal-based foods and nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium. In addition to dairy products, you can also find it in fatty fish, egg yolks and strong cereals.
- Vitamins C and E: These can help your immune system. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, peppers and berries. Get your vitamin E from wheat germ, nuts, sesame seeds and plant-based oils.
- Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bones and prevention of osteoporosis. You can get it by eating eggs, vegetables and dairy foods.
- Potassium: This mineral promotes heart, kidney and nerve health. It also prevents high blood pressure and kidney stones. You can absorb it from bananas, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, meat, poultry and fish.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is good for balanced blood sugar levels, nerve function and muscle health. You can get it from green vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
If you are thinking of taking a multivitamin or dietary supplement, talk to your doctor to find out which one you may need.
2. Choose foods that are nutritious and without extra calories
Eating a healthy balance of foods listed above will encourage your body to absorb all its benefits. Other beverages and snacks contain fewer calories – higher calories from sugars and fats than any other nutritious food or nutrition.
These foods are usually overeating and malnutrition can lead to health problems. If you have plenty of these foods and drinks on an average day, try replacing them with nutritional alternatives:
- Cakes and other baked or fried products
- Sodas, Sweet Tea, Energy Drinks, Lemonade & Sports Drinks
- Fast food and junk food
3. Plan your meal
Attempts are made to cook every night to prepare the food. If you are a person who would rather have something warm, then food preparation is a great way to accomplish this. It also frees you from the question, “What am I going to eat tonight?” Preparing meals can help you stick to your healthy food choices because you have already prepared what you are going to eat.
The USDA has even created diet patterns that plan for daily meals. Prepare in advance what you can do and you’re ready to go!
4. Choose low cholesterol and low fat foods
Eating foods high in trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke and heart attack. Although we all need to eat some of these foods, the caution is to eat them in moderation.
You can get full fat dairy products and saturated fats in meat, trans fats in baked and fried foods and cholesterol in animal foods. Try to limit how often you take these foods to keep your heart healthy.
5. Drink water and exercise
If you are able, staying active in your senior years will help you strengthen your muscles and delay health problems. Getting out and moving is just as important now as it was when you were younger!
Be sure to stay hydrated when you exercise. Drinking plenty of water will keep you awake and protect you from fainting.
6. Talk to your doctor
Like many things, talk to your doctor if you need more information. They are there to guide you in the right direction. If you need advice on which foods you need more and which ones you should eat less, your doctor will know how to help you.
In addition, they will be able to recommend multivitamins and supplements if your body needs them. You know your body best, and your doctor will help you treat it properly.
Eat healthy as a senior
Maintaining a nutritious diet as an adult is the key to your body’s energy. It has an amazing list of benefits and it prevents you from creating serious health problems. These tips are a great place to start but talk to your doctor to get the right recommendation for you.