Nutrition for Seniors
It can be difficult to stay healthy as we age, but the older we get the more important it is to take care of our health. One of the best ways to do this is by watching what we eat. As our bodies age, you need less caloric intake but still need substantial nutrients and protein.
What should I eat?
- Vegetables: Eating your veggies is a great way to get a variety of nutrients with very low calories. The fiber found in many vegetables is also important for proper digestion.
- Fruits: A delicious snack rich in nutrients to give you energy and keep you full.
- Lean meats: This food option is a great way to obtain protein with lower calories.
- Seafood: There are many benefits to eating seafood as it a good amount of omega-3s. Eating seafood can help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease, improve your eyesight, and increase heart health.
- Whole grains: Eating whole grains is important for digestion. As you get older, the digestive system begins to slow. Whole grain food includes cereal, rice, and pasta.
- Calcium: To maintain healthy bones, calcium is essential. Foods that are rich in calcium include milk, cheese, fortified tofu, or alternative milks such as almond or soymilk.
What foods should I stay away from?
- Baked goods: As much as we all love fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, it’s important to try and steer clear of the sweets.
- Sugary drinks: Drinks such as soda and alcohol are harmful to maintaining health as they are filled with sugar and dyes.
- Fast food: Eating fast food at an older age can hurt your body if eaten on a regular basis. Fast food is loaded with salts, sugars, and unhealthy oils.
- Processed foods: Food found in packages are packed with high calories and lots of sugar. Processed foods may give you energy at the moment but will slow you down in the long run.
What can I do if I am struggling to eat?
- Exercise: If you are having struggles eating, doing cardio such as walking, or swimming helps build an appetite.
- Eat with others: Not eating alone can create more of an incentive to eat. Eating at a social gathering with others in your home or at a potluck is a great way to eat with others.
- Liven up your food: If you are having a difficult time eating because you can’t taste, try adding more spices or unique flavors to what you eat.
Maintaining a healthy diet as an older adult can be difficult at times, but it isn’t impossible. Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat, stay accountable with what you eat by having an accountability partner, or get outside and exercise. Follow these tips from The Grove & Gardens to better your health and have more energy to do the things you love!
*This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your dietary needs.