Eating Healthy as We Age
Eating well and staying physically active are important at all ages, but proper nutrition and physical fitness help older adults lower their risk of developing chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Though many adults require fewer calories as they age, they still need just as many or more nutrients. The tricky part is knowing which ones and how much our bodies need. Our bodies have very different nutritional needs as we grow older, so certain nutrients become particularly important.
How can nutrition help me stay healthy as I age?
A diet that’s full of saturated and trans fats accelerates aging, while a nutrient-rich diet that’s full of fiber and low on calories can actually slow the pace of aging. Here are a few easy things you can do to help prevent nutritional deficiencies and slow the signs of aging:
- Stay hydrated
With age comes a diminished sense of thirst, which means you can get dehydrated much more easily. Be sure to drink plenty of sugar-free fluids and eat foods with high water content.
Older bodies need more vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium to help digestion and prevent bone loss.
- Make your plate more colorful
Fill your plate with dark green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats. The more colorful your plate, the more likely you’re getting the nutrients you need to be healthy.
- Don’t skimp on fiber
Like other things, digestion naturally slows with age which can lead to constipation, bloating and gas. Eating fiber-rich foods helps food move through the digestive tract more efficiently.
- Add more cold water fish
Cold water fish like salmon, tuna, trout and halibut are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for brain function and memory. You can also mix chia or flax seeds into your morning oatmeal or shakes.
At Grand Boulevard Health and Rehabilitation Center, eating well is a way of life. Our certified dietary managers can help ensure you’re getting the right nutrition and proper rehabilitation you need to support your changing healthcare needs. Our senior rehabilitation services include ongoing nutritional guidance for eating well-balanced meals as our dietary needs change with age.