7 Foods for Healthy Senior Living
Eating well is important for everyone, but especially so for seniors. Healthy eating can increase your mental sharpness, boost your immune system to build your body’s resistance to nasty flu bugs, and give you more energy – making you feel healthier and happier.
Here are seven foods to build into your diet for healthy senior living:
Fish & Nuts
OK, so these are two separate foods – but they both contribute Omega-3 fatty acids. Rich sources of Omega-3, such as fish and nuts, can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improve mental acuity and focus. The most power-packed Omega-3 foods are flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, salmon and soybeans. Other good sources: shrimp, scallops, halibut and tuna.
Protein is what your body turns into muscle, so it’s important for seniors to make sure they get the recommended amount each day. (A good rule of thumb: divide your weight by two to find out how many grams of protein you should eat every day). Fish, nuts, eggs, milk and cheese also provide you with key proteins.
Apples, bananas, melons and berries…they’re abundant sources of fiber and vitamins, and a much better option for a senior’s body than juices and supplements. The real thing tastes better, too!
Fresh vegetables are terrific for your general health! Dark, leafy greens like spinach are rich in health-protecting antioxidants. Yams, carrots, broccoli and squash deliver other important nutrients for healthy senior living. The more color on your plate, the better!
Dairy products are a vital source of osteoporosis-fighting calcium. Products like cheese, yogurt and milk are all loaded with calcium. The World Health Organization recommends seniors get 1300 mg each day of calcium.
Forget white bread or pastas…they don’t have much fiber and they have a much lower overall nutritional value. Consuming whole grains instead of processed grains is believed to result in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, so check labels and make sure you’re not eating refined grains in your breads and cereals.
True, it isn’t a food – but since it represents about 50% of our body weight, water is pretty important stuff! A lack of water can actually lead to excess weight gain, organ failure, arthritis, dry skin, and problems with digestion and constipation. The average senior should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
A balanced, fresh food diet is the foundation of good health – both physical and mental – for seniors. If you are regularly putting many colors on your plate at meal-time, there’s a good chance that you’re headed for some healthy senior living!
Have you noticed the impact your diet has on your health?