How to Make Healthy Food Choices as A Senior
Our body’s metabolism tends to decrease as we age, which is why you may notice weight gain or often feel tired even though your diet remains the same. The specialists in retirement communities suggest monitoring your intake of nutrients to ensure you are active and healthy in your senior years. Changing your eating habits can make your life easier, particularly beyond your 50s. Read on to learn about the crucial things you can do to make healthy food choices as you age.
3 Benefits of Healthy Eating for Seniors
Improve Your Health and Stay Stronger
Consuming nutritious foods can help you maintain a healthy weight, enhance immunity, and fight illnesses. It also can reduce the risk of bone loss, high blood pressure, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and more. In addition, combining physical activity with a balanced diet is a great way to lead an independent life after retirement.
Sharpen Your Mind
Research indicates that including leafy vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts with omega-3 fatty acids can help improve focus and decrease the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. You can also have antioxidant-rich green tea to enhance mental alertness and memory.
The health experts in retirement communities and independent living homes for seniors believe that ensuring your body is in good condition is crucial for a happy and energetic life. Having wholesome meals is essential to get enough energy and look better, which will boost your self-esteem and mood.
Physical Changes that May Affect Your Diet
Our metabolism becomes slower after 50, and we may become less physically active. This is when you should consider your routine and adopt healthy exercise and eating habits to maintain your health.
- Weakened Tastebuds
As we age, we may lose sensitivity to bitter and salty tastes, which is why you may be tempted to add more salt to your food. However, seniors need less salt in their meals than younger people. You may consider using spices, herbs, and healthy oils such as olive oil to season food as an alternative to salt.
As we age, it is common for the digestive system to slow, meaning our bodies will create less stomach acid and saliva. This can make it more difficult for your body to process some minerals and vitamins, such as folic acid, vitamin B12, and B6, which are essential to maintain good blood circulation and mental alertness. Consulting your doctor to increase your fiber intake can help.
- Illness and Medications
Some health issues or medicines can impact your appetite negatively, often increasing your consumption of salt and sugar. It is best to consult your doctor to find a solution for such situations.
Healthy Eating is Not Only about Food
To eat healthily, you also need to keep the following in mind:
- Shop Cautiously
It is wise to buy fresh, good-quality vegetables, fruits, and groceries from a reliable place. You can also shop with a friend and share new recipes and meal ideas to prepare delicious and nutritious food.
- Share Cooking Responsibilities
Instead of viewing cooking as a time-consuming chore, you can make it fun by inviting a friend over to share the responsibilities. If you cannot prepare meals, it is time to consider moving to a reputable retirement community where you will have qualified staff to help you.
- Make Mealtimes a Social Experience
Having meals with friends, family, and like-minded people can help boost your mood and relieve stress. Choosing a retirement community as your home in your senior years is a wise decision. In addition to qualified staff for assistance and nutritious food, you can enjoy good company during mealtimes.
Easy Tips for a Healthy Diet in Senior Years
Consume Fruits and Vegetables
When choosing your vegetables, pick dark, leafy greens rich in antioxidants, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. Also, include nutritious veggies like carrots and squash in your food regularly. You can make the dishes more appetizing by using olive oil, sprinkled goat cheese, and frying them with chili flakes or garlic. Consume color-rich fruits such as melons or berries in addition to the usual choices like apples and bananas. It is good to have 2-3 servings a day.
Have a Balanced Diet
According to nutritionists in retirement facilities and independent living homes for seniors, it is essential to include the following in your diet:
- Water – Sip water regularly to avoid dehydration, constipation, and urinary tract infections.
- Vitamins – You can get vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified foods. It helps to keep blood and nerves healthy. Consult your doctor about consuming a multivitamin to supplement vitamin D.
- Calcium – Calcium intake can help maintain your bone health, reducing the chances of fractures and osteoporosis. Milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, tofu, almonds, and kale are good sources.
- Good Fats – Healthy fats like omega-3s can protect you from disease and support cognitive functions. Good sources are vegetable oils, fish, seeds, and nuts.
- Proteins – Eating enough high-quality protein can boost your mood and reduce the risk of anxiety, stress, and depression. Including varied protein sources in your meals, such as fish, red meat, eggs, peas, beans, seeds, and nuts, is beneficial.
- Fiber – Dietary fiber can help enhance digestion. It can also reduce the risk of stroke, heart diseases, and diabetes and improve the condition of your skin.
- Carbohydrates – Contrary to popular belief, consuming carbs in a measured quantity is essential. Include whole grains instead of processed white flour and cut down on simple or refined carbs and sugar.
Live a Healthy, Happy Life in Our Retirement Community
The Holiday Retirement community offers the best independent living homes for seniors. We have excellent amenities and qualified staff to cater to your needs and ensure you feel at home. Our facilities include a spacious studio, delicious and nutritious meals, daily housekeeping, and laundry services. You can also bring your cherished belongings, including pieces of furniture, for a smooth transition to our retirement community.