Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods is crucial for everyone who wants to live a happy, healthy, and longer life. Eating healthy does not change even as you grow older. It becomes even more important to eat healthier foods as you age because your metabolism slows down, so your body needs fewer calories than before. Your body also requires some specific nutrients more than before.
This is because you need to keep your bones stronger. After all, they become fragile and brittle with age and prone to osteoporosis. Older individuals also need to be healthy to fight diseases and avoid cognitive decline. Therefore it is essential to choose foods that provide you with the best nutritional value.
It is never too late to change your eating habits and switch to better eating habits. Making nutritional changes in how you et is essential, and here is why.
Eating foods rich in proteins increase muscle strength
Feeding on protein-rich foods helps build bone mass, skin, and muscle. As you age, you tend to lose muscle mass, and your bones get weaker hence the need to increase protein intake. The best natural protein sources are sourced from animal products such as eggs, meat, and fish since they contain essential amino acids.
Plant protein sources such as green vegetables and grains like broccoli are not rich in amino acids but are still good sources of proteins. That’s why you will need to have a wide variety of foods you eat. You can mix up your animal proteins and plant-based proteins to ensure you are getting the best of both.
You may have also seen numerous protein-fortified foods in the convenience store, for example, cheeses, peanut butter, yogurt, and even chocolate bars. They usually use peanuts or soya since they are naturally high in protein. These are also other examples of increasing your protein intake. However, ensure you check the calories of some of these things so that you are eating healthy.
Enough protein intake may help increase bone health bone and muscle mass for seniors.
Calcium and Vitamin D are vital for bone strength too.
Calcium is also essential in building bone density and strength, but it is also essential to have vitamin D in your body to absorb calcium. Natural vitamin D is from the sun. as you age, we understand that you can have decreased mobility, and you may not be able to go outside and get adequate exposure to the sun. Additionally, as you grow older, your skin becomes less efficient in absorbing vitamin D.
To ensure you are getting your calcium and vitamin D, you can get supplements.
Increase your fiber intake to help with digestion
Eating foods rich in fiber can help you have a healthy digestive system. Additionally, it ensures you have good bowel movements and avoid constipation or any other digestive problems, ensure to include fiber-rich foods in all your meals. Soluble fiber is essential for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, which helps prevent stroke and heart disease while maintaining a healthy weight.
Foods rich in fiber include wholegrain, fruits and vegetables, oats and oat bran, seeds, nuts, lentils, and beans. If you struggle to get enough fiber in your diet, your dietician may recommend a fiber supplement.
Fruits and vegetables help prevent diseases.
Seniors are more prone to getting chronic diseases. Including fruits and vegetables in your diet will decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, lower blood pressure, and positively affect your blood sugar.
High consumption of various fruits and vegetables with different colors provides your body with the right mix of nutrients. There are numerous ways of incorporating fruits and vegetables into a senior’s diet. They include;
Snacking – ensure you keep fresh fruits and vegetables cut and ready to eat. This makes it readily available for a quick snack during the day when you are feeling hungry. Instead of reaching for fast or processed foods, fruits can be a great snacking alternative. Moreover, they make you fuller faster and do not contain a lot of sugar which is not good.
Experiment with new combinations – you can take your fruits and vegetables as a salad or smoothie. This helps prevent your diet from being bland and boring, plus it encourages you to take your fruits.
Start your mornings with fruits and vegetables – starting your day with an apple or a smoothie can help take out the guesswork of when you can have your fruit or vegetable. You can also add strawberries or bananas to your oatmeal, serving your daily dose of vitamins and fiber.
Seasonal eating can also help you have various options to choose from. For example, you can break out the berries and stone fruits in summer and spring and go for pears and apples in the colder months.
If you find it hard to eat any fruits raw because of one issue or another, you can stew it down with some water, honey, and cinnamon and add them to your porridge. You can also make fresh juice or smoothies. For vegetables, you go for protein-rich leafy greens such as tomatoes, carrots, etc., bulk your meat stew by adding aubergines and butternut squash rich in Vitamins.
If your loved one can’t get their grocery shopping or cooking and they are not living with you, you can take them to assisted living communities such as https://vivanteliving.com/senior-living/, where they can get balanced meals and the care they need.
Healthy eating for seniors
Your appetite slows down with age, and it is essential to find ways of eating to ensure you are feeding on the nutrients your body needs. You can include calories from the right foods such as cheese to mashed potatoes or eggs, tuna, and pulses to soups. If chewing is challenging, you can opt for foods that are easier to swallow, such as soups, mashed stuff, etc.
Eating healthily for seniors is essential in ensuring they are aging healthily and reducing the risk of diseases and complications. You can increase your quality of life with healthy eating and even live a longer life.