Healthy Eating & Nutrition Tips change a little, as we grow older. Why so? Because as you age, your metabolism slows down – meaning that you require fewer calories than before. On the other hand, your body would need more of certain nutrients. As a consequence, it becomes more important than ever to select foods, which provide you with the higher nutritional value – because whereas you would be eating less, but your need for certain nutrients would have been increased.
As I have already said in my earlier posts also, the two key factors to stay active and independent are providing your body with the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight.
Read on here for my top 10 Healthy Eating & Nutrition tips to supply your body the right nutrients and improve your health, as you grow older.
Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips For Senior Citizens
Drink more water: Water is not only important for your health, but also critically needed for the proper functioning of your brain.
I have seen, many seniors don’t drink enough water just because they don’t want to get up in the middle of night and go to bathroom. Here is a solution for such people – They can drink more water in the first half of the day to ensure a good sleep at nights.
Another problem is that – as we age, we tend to lose some of our sense of thirst.
Aim for drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
Fat-free or low-fat milk or 100% real juice are also good options to keep you stay hydrated.
Note: Avoid caffeinated drinks. Also keep away from beverages that contain lots of added sugars or salt.
Look For Important Nutrients
Another thing I have observed is that with age we develop likings for certain foods. By eating only a few types of foods, we are likely to miss on many important nutrients.
You need to eat a variety of foods in order to get all the essential nutrients you need. Make sure your plate with food look like a rainbow with bright, different colored foods! A wholesome meal should include:
(i) Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans, etc.)
(ii) Fruits & vegetables (think green, red, orange and purple)
(iii) Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice)
(iv) Low-fat or fat-free dairy products (milk and its alternatives)
Make a point to go for foods that are high in fiber and low in salt (sodium), added sugar, trans fat & saturated fat (like solid fats—butter, lard, margarine, and shortening) Also, look for Vitamin D, an essential nutrient as we grow older.
Bowel Movements: This is a big problem as we age. To improve bowel movement, focus on foods having enough fiber such as whole grain bread, beans, dark colored vegetables (like green beans) unsalted nuts & seeds. Also your body will tell you if you are eating the right things. You should be having a bowel movement once a day and it should be brown and floating—not black and sinking.
Eat protein in the morning: Begin your day with some protein in your breakfast such as 1-2 eggs or protein shake as opposed to toast or cereal.
Useful Related Post: How Older Adults Can Meet Their Protein Needs
Eat more vegetables: Most people tend to choose fruit over vegetables because they relish the sweetness. But actually vegetables score over fruits from the nutrition & health point of view.
Supplement Vitamin D & Calcium For Stronger Bones As You Age: If you live in cold climate or a place where the sunlight is scarce, you are likely to become Vitamin D deficient. So you would need to take 2-3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy that are fortified with vitamin D or take vitamin D supplements.
Also fat-free or low fat milk; or nondairy soy will help fulfil your needs for calcium as well.
Limit Cheese Intake: Many people love to eat cheese because of its salty and creamy taste. But too much cheese intake is NOT a part of healthy diet.
Now About Carbs: There have been conflicting opinions about eating carbohydrates in the fitness world. In my opinion for most people healthy carbs like sweet potato, whole grains & seedy breads are good. Mantra is to eat healthy carbohydrates before or after a workout and not at night to make sure you are fuelling your body at the right time.
Useful Related Post: Here You Can Find What Are Good Carbs To Eat
Eat Real Food: Many times we get carried away by the nutritional claims displayed on the boxes of the convenience foods. But our best bet is always to opt for real foods as close to how they came off the tree or out of the ground as they can be.
# 10 Bonus Tip: Go for broiled, grilled, or boiled options and keep in mind to keep away from fried foods.