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Healthy eating as you age

Healthy eating habits can improve your mental clarity, increase energy, and reduce the risk of getting sick.

Benefits of healthy eating as you age

Healthful eating habits are important for everyone, but it is even more important as we age and reach our mid-life years. Healthy eating habits are important for maintaining a positive outlook, good health and emotional balance. Healthy eating does not have to mean sacrificing your health or making sacrifices. It should be about eating healthy food and enjoying good company.

It doesn’t matter what age you are or how your eating habits were in the past, and it is never too late for you to make a change and improve your outlook on life.

Improving your diet now can help you to:

1. You will live longer and be more resilient

Good nutrition can increase immunity, fight disease-causing toxins and lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. It also helps to reduce the chance of bone loss and cancer. A balanced diet and regular physical activity can help you live independently as you get older.

2. Sharpen your mind

Eaters of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts may find it easier to focus and lessen their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea rich in antioxidants may help you retain your memory and increase mental alertness as you age.

3. Feel better

Healthy meals can boost your energy levels and make you feel better. It all comes down to this: When your body feels good, it makes you happier.

Healthy eating goes beyond food

It’s more than about the quality and variety you eat. Eating well as an older person is also about how healthy it feels. It’s also about sharing the experience of eating. It’s as important to eat with friends to add vitamins to your diet. Socializing can stimulate your mind, make meals more enjoyable, and help you to stick to your healthy eating habits.

Even if you don’t live with anyone, healthy meals can be made more enjoyable by:

Shopping with others

Shopping with friends can allow you to meet up and catch up on chores while shopping. You can also share your ideas for meals and save money by shopping with a friend.

Cooking together

Invite a friend to share cooking responsibilities–one prepares the entree, the other dessert, for example. Sharing the cost of cooking can help you build relationships and make it more affordable.

Make mealtimes social

Talking to a friend over dinner can make a huge difference in reducing stress and improving mood. Please keep the family updated by bringing them together. Invite a friend, a coworker, and a neighbour to join you. 

How can you create a healthy senior lifestyle?

Healthy eating means focusing on whole foods that are minimally processed. Food that is as natural as possible is the key to good health. It may take some experimentation to find the right healthy diet for you. Our bodies react differently to different foods. This is due to genetics. These are some great places to start.

Get plenty of fruits and vegetables

You can break the apple-and-banana rut by choosing colourful fruits like melons or berries. It would help if you aimed to eat 2-3 portions per day. Choose antioxidant-rich, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and colourful vegetables like carrots and squash when it comes to vegetables. You can make vegetables more appealing by coating them in olive oil, adding goat cheese to the mix, and frying them with garlic or chili flakes. Every day, aim for 2-3 cups.

Calcium is essential for bone health

Calcium intake is essential to maintain bone health. Milk, yogurt, cheese, or non-dairy sources like tofu and broccoli are all good sources.

Do not eat “no fat”, but “good fat”. Instead of trying to reduce fat in your diet, you should be focusing on healthy fats such as omega-3s. These fats can help protect your body from disease and improve your mood and brain function.

Variegate your sources of protein

High-quality protein is good for you as you get older. It can help improve your mood, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and even enhance your ability to think clearly. Consuming too many processed meat products like bacon, hot dogs and salami can increase your risk for heart disease and cancer. Instead of eating only red meat, diversify your protein sources by including fish, eggs, beans, peas and nuts in your diet.

Get more fiber

Dietary fibre can do more than just keep you regular. Fiber can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, skin health, and weight loss. Your digestion decreases with age so fiber is important in your diet. Women over 50 years old should aim for at least 21g of fiber daily, and men over 50 years old at least 30g. Most people don’t get even half of those amounts.

Pay attention to carbs

Whole grains are better than white flour, and you can get more nutrients and fiber from whole grains. You also have a lower intake of sugar and refined carbs. Our sense of taste and smell decrease with age. However, our ability to recognize sweet tastes lasts longer, which can lead to many older people consuming more sugar and other refined carbs than they should. Complex carbs rich in fiber can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar. This is followed by a crash that leaves you hungry and more likely to overeat.

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