Like all people, seniors need a variety of nutrient-dense foods for optimal health and well-being. Follow these tips for good eating.
Taste the rainbow
Choose fruits and vegetables in a range of colors to get the antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins your body needs. Avoid the sameness trap and be willing to try new things or new ways of preparing old things. For example, if you hated Brussels sprouts as a kid try them again now that you’re an adult. Roasted Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and sea salt taste infinitely better than mushy boiled sprouts. If you are living with incontinence, be mindful that citrus (like lemons and oranges) and acidic (like tomatoes) foods can worsen symptoms.
Whether you choose full fat or low fat, dairy provides calcium and vitamin d. Calcium is particularly important for bone health with age. Good sources include cheese, eggs, milk, and yogurt. Greek yogurt offers the double benefit of calcium and protein, which your body also needs.
Seniors should have protein with every meal. As we age our ability to use protein is reduced. Adequate protein intake is important for maintaining muscle. Seniors must actively work to combat muscle loss, which begins around age 30 and can accelerate with age. Significant muscle loss can reduce functional fitness and quality of life. Good sources of protein include beans, legumes, eggs, dairy, and lean meats.
Fill up on fiber
Most adults don’t get enough fiber even though it’s important. Fiber regulates the digestive system. It also helps you feel full and satisfied longer so you don’t overeat. Metabolism slows, and we need fewer calories with age. If we continue eating as we always have the pounds will pile on.
Include healthy fats
Your slowing metabolism may lead you to shy away from fats. That’s a mistake. Some fats are good for you and even promote satiety. Enjoy healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and olive oil in moderation.
It is important to embrace healthy eating habits throughout the lifespan. It is especially important as we age to protect bone health, digestive health, heart health, and overall physical health. It is okay to treat yourself but choose foods that support your good health goals at least 80% of the time.