A healthy diet is the primary source of the essential ingredients required to develop and repair tissues and bones in all age groups, especially seniors.
The good news is you don’t need to spend hundreds of bucks to buy organic produce. Instead, you can make certain changes in your eating plan by incorporating food rich in fiber, protein, and good fats.
Read the following guide to create a well-balanced diet plan as you age to lead a healthy and active life.
Simple Healthy Eating Plan for Seniors
As you grow older, your eating habits change because of the following reasons:
- First, you require fewer calories because of reduced physical activity and a slower metabolism.
- The sense of smell and taste begins to diminish, which leads to loss of appetite as we age.
- Medical conditions and health issues, such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis, require modifying your diet.
When it comes to healthy eating for seniors, you must select food without sodium, saturated fats, and, most notably, sugar.
Keep reading to create a simple yet healthy and effective diet plan for seniors.
Fruit and Vegetables
The key is to eat food in its natural and raw form, such as fruit and vegetables. For example, you can go for two to three servings of fruit, such as apples, bananas, melons, and berries.
Additionally, you should include leafy green vegetables with antioxidant properties, such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and kale. Finally, don’t forget to eat colorful veggies such as squash and carrots.
You need to cut these vegetables, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, add goat cheese, and have two to three servings a day.
Calcium deficiency not just weakens bones but also leads to anxiety, depression, and irritability. Therefore, you must prioritize your bone health as you age by ensuring the required calcium intake.
For instance, you can obtain calcium from yogurt, milk, cheese, summer squash, tofu, kale, and almonds.
It’s tricky as you don’t need to cut down fat entirely from the diet. Instead, you can focus on adding healthy fats to your diet to fight diseases, maintain brain function, and improve your mood.
Good fat is the primary energy source for your body to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease, blood pressure, and bad LDL cholesterol.
You can obtain healthy fat from sources such as olives, avocados, peanut butter, nuts, flaxseed, salmon, trout, prickly pear, soymilk, and walnuts.
If you wish to keep your mind and body healthy, never forget to include proteins in your diet. It’s one of the essential nutrients to maintain, regulate, build and repair cells, tissues, and organs within our bodies.
Our body breaks protein into 20 amino acids that serve as the building blocks for energy and body development.
You can either opt for animal protein sources, such as eggs, fish, dairy, and poultry. On the other hand, if you prefer a vegan diet, you can have protein-rich nuts, vegetables, beans, and grains.
Dietary fiber regulates bowel functioning and improves digestive health. Also, it minimizes the risks of stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, and heart diseases while helping you lose weight.
The insoluble fiber, which doesn’t dissolve in water, is the bulky fiber that aids in preventing constipation. Whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and wheat cereal are excellent sources of insoluble fiber.
Alternatively, soluble fiber, present in barley, nuts, apples, oatmeal, berries, pears, and citrus fruits, helps maintain blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Carbs or carbohydrates are the primary sources of energy for your body. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 45 to 65 percent of the total daily calories come from none other than carbs.
Sadly, the majority of the carbs comprise refined carbs, including corn, potatoes, white flour, rice, and refined sugar. On the contrary, you must include complex carbs rich in fiber and nutrients to maintain weight and enhance your energy levels.
You can find several sources of good carbs, such as unrefined whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, fruit, and legumes.
Instead of using white flour, you can simply switch to multigrain or whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, bran cereal, and barley. Similarly, you can have sweet potatoes instead of white ones and brown rice as a healthy substitute for white rice.
It’s never too late to change your eating habits and improve your lifestyle and health. First, however, you should be firm in your resolution to enjoy your life to the fullest and age gracefully while being active, healthy, and happy.
A well-balanced diet increases immunity to fight illness and minimizes the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and bone loss.
An active lifestyle will improve general health and mood, so consider a lot of daily walking, riding a bike, or even starting jogging.
Lastly, a healthy eating plan doesn’t require so much effort. Instead, you only need to be mindful about what you are eating and how it is making your body and mind healthier.