Eating healthy will help to strengthen your mental acuity as you grow older, increase your energy levels and increase your susceptibility to illness.
Eating good is starting with you! Providing the right food to your body and maintaining a healthy weight will help you stay active and independent. You’re going to waste less time and money on your doctor. It is especially true if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
Defining healthy eating changes a lot as you age. For example, when you get older, your metabolism slows down, and you need fewer calories than ever before. Your body needs a few more nutrients, too. Which means that choosing the food that gives you the best nutritional value is more important than ever.
It’s never too late to change your diet and strengthen your way of thinking and feeling, no matter how old you are or your past eating habits. Improving your diet will help you. Live longer and stronger, sharpens your mind and will make you feel better.
Good diet can improve immunity, battle disease-causing contaminants, keep weight under control and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss and cancer. A healthy diet, along with physical activity, will also help to improve independence as you age.
People who eat fruit, leafy vegetables, fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids may be able to improve their focus and reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidant-rich green tea can also enhance your memory and mental alertness as you age.
Whole meals will give you more energy and give you a better look that will improve your mood and self-esteem. It’s all connected — when your body feels healthy, inside and out, you feel happier.
There’s more to healthy eating than just a diet.
Well, eating as you age isn’t just about the consistency and variety of your food. It’s about eating pleasure, too, which increases when you share a meal. It can be as essential to eat with others as you add vitamins to your diet. A social environment stimulates your mind, makes food more fun and helps you keep up with your healthy eating program.
Particularly if you live on your own, shopping with others, cooking with others and socializing your mealtimes will make your nutritious meals more enjoyable.
Shopping with a friend gives you a chance to catch up with your chores without falling behind. This is also the perfect way to share fresh food ideas and save money on discount deals like “buy one, get the second half price”. Invite the partner to share the cooking duties — one, for example, prepares the starter, the other dessert. Cooking with others can be a friendly way to broaden your friendship, and sharing costs can make it easier for both of you. The simple act of chatting with a friend or loved one over the dinner table will play a major role in alleviating tension and improving mood. Get the family together regularly and keep up to date on everyone’s lives. Invite a friend, relative, or neighbor to come over here. Visiting an adult day-care facility or enrolling in a senior meal program will also provide both companionship to older adults.
How to make a balanced diet
Eating a variety of foods from all food groups will help to provide the nutrients that a person needs as they age. A balanced food program promotes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products; contains lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
It doesn’t have to be hard to eat properly. Start with the following Dietary Guidelines for American Recommendations:
- Eat vegetables and fruits. They may be either fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as broccoli or leafy greens and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
- Vary your protein choice with more fish, beans and peas.
- Eat at least three ounces of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta per day. Choose whole grains whenever necessary.
- Have three portions of low-fat or fat-free milk (milk, yogurt or cheese) fortified with vitamin D to help maintain healthy bones.
- When you consume, make polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Turn from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
- Use less salt. Too much salt in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to stroke or heart disease.
- Stay hydrated. Among other things, dehydration causes tiredness, dizziness and constipation. Get plenty of fluids (water, fruit cordials, juice, milk) on board each day. As a general guide, about 8 glasses a day should be adequate.
Eating good on the budget
Learning how to eat healthy is just one part of the issue for many older adults on a set, minimal budget. It’s not always easy to pay for the healthiest food, but there are ways to expand the budget and save on healthy food. Some simple tips to help you if you’re on a budget:
- The more prepared you are when shopping for food, the less likely you are to make impulse purchases.
- Getting things done in bulk saves both time and money. Buying non-perishable products, such as dried beans and canned tuna, is often a good idea. You can freeze perishable products such as meat and bread to use when needed in smaller quantities or share them with a friend — saving money for both of you.
- When shopping for the same quality product at traditional grocery stores, the supermarket or generic brand would always be cheaper than the brand name.
- If you’re making delicious casseroles, sauces, soups, stews and stir-fry, you’ll save on meat cutting and stretch the meat for more meals. Add vegetables, beans and whole grains to make delicious, satisfying meals.
- Both leftovers, such as soups, stews or stir-fries, may be used for other meals. Make a base of broth or sauté onion and garlic and add any remaining residues. It is good to add flavor and substance to a limited amount of meat. And a lot of the remains are very tasty burritos. Just put it all in a tortilla shell with a little cheese or salsa (try to get whole grain).
Food is the most efficient way to get the nutrient you need. Can you take herbs or minerals with vitamins or other tablets or powders? They are food supplements, too. Your doctor will know when you need them. It couldn’t have been any better. Others may interfere with your medications or may affect your health.
Talk to your doctor about any problems you may have when you try to eat a balanced diet. You’d like to see a nutritionist, too. You can come up with a good health team with a plan to help you get back to eating well.