As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to eat healthy to help keep your body and mind thriving and lower the risk of disease. Incorporating a well-balanced diet will help boost your immune system and reduce chronic health conditions and pain. Here we provide some essentials for healthy eating and maintaining optimal health in your senior years.
Goals for Healthy Living
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or underweight will influence your muscle mass and bones, along with your body’s abilities to fight off various ailments. By staying active you can help burn calories, and keep muscle mass at a healthy level. In turn, this will help optimize your health and lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Gaining or losing weight is stressful on the body, so it is best to keep weight stable.
Getting the Right Amount of Nutrients
Many seniors will start to notice a loss of appetite as they get older. As you begin to eat less, you may not be taking in enough calories to sustain you. Ensure you eat the appropriate amount of high-nutrient and high-fibre foods so you don’t end up malnourished. Batch preparing meals on the weekend or hiring a meal preparation service can help keep you on track.
Lowering the Risk of Disease
Consuming a healthy diet can help boost your immune system and fend off diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and illness. Try to avoid high levels of salts, sugars, and trans fats as much as possible.
Maintaining Oral Health
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash daily are a few of the steps to maintaining optimal oral health. Oral health is the other essential building block for good overall health, particularly for your heart.
When to Reach Out for Help
If you are having issues preparing meals, finding assistance is imperative, whether it’s through a family member or PSW. There are also many local organizations that can assist you with these needs such as Meals on Wheels. Talk to your doctor for more information about options in Markham.
Maintaining a healthy, wholesome diet will help keep you strong and more readily able to fight off any ailments as you continue to age. Make your senior years enjoyable by taking care of yourself and putting your health first.
Eat more of these foods:
✓ Nutrient and fibre-rich foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, chicken fish, organic soy, whole grains, and oats
✓ Supplements: calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin B complex. Also, if you are low in fiber psyllium husk (Metamucil) can help.
✓ Healthy versions of packaged foods: low sodium and low sugar canned vegetables and fruit, low sodium soups, salad mix, instant oatmeal’s, frozen fruits and vegetables.
Drink these beverages:
✓ Eight glasses of water a day.
✓ Juices high in fibre and antioxidants such as cranberry and prune juice, but beware of sugar content.
Avoid the following foods:
x Foods high in calories, especially deep fried foods and processed foods.
x Sugars that are processed and artificial.
x Foods high in salt.
x Saturated trans fats and margarine.
Avoid these beverages:
x Sweetened beverages: pop, juice, and sports drinks
x Artificial sweeteners: Splenda
x Drinks high in caffeine