It’s no secret that the food we eat can seriously impact our health, for better or worse. Nowadays, there’s a new fast food joint popping up on every block, serving fatty and high cholesterol foods that are packed full of sodium, preservatives, and all sorts of other unsavory ingredients. And food additives such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners can cause a whole myriad of health issues.
For senior citizens, it is exceedingly important to eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and other life giving nutrients that support health and overall wellbeing. In this article we will discuss some simple changes that seniors can make in their diet to help promote a long and healthy life.
Eat Fresh Vegetables Instead of Canned
Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, iron, and other beneficial nutrients that support healthy bodily functions from the immune and circulatory systems, to digestion and every one in between. Many vegetables are also a great source of antioxidants, which may be good for your heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections, as well as offering many other beneficial health properties.
What you may not know however, is that vegetables are the most nutritious and beneficial when consumed raw, or gently steamed. The processes used in canning vegetables however, rob the vegetables of a large amount of their nutrition during the cooking process. Many canned vegetables are also chock full of preservatives and sodium that can negatively impact blood pressure.
To get the most beneficial nutrition from your vegetables, eat fresh and lightly steamed vegetables whenever possible, and keep canned vegetable consumption to a minimum to avoid some of the unwanted health issues that can occur from eating too much sodium.
Juice for Your Health
One way to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of plant based nutrition in your diet is to turn your own fresh fruits and vegetables into a delicious and healthy juice for breakfast, lunch, or anytime really. Apples, oranges, pears, melons and mangoes are all great options for juicing.
Carrot is also a very delicious and beneficial ingredient to add to your juice blends. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which gets converted in the body into vitamin A, and may help older people retain their lung strength as they age.
Try using a variety of different fruits and vegetables to create a delicious juice blend to help supplement your nutrient intake. Juicing is also a good way to prevent against dehydration, which brings us to our next point.
Maintain Proper Hydration
Water is the building block that is essential for all life. Our bodies are made up of about 65% water, so maintaining proper hydration is key to good health. Each day humans must consume a certain amount of water to survive.This amount varies according to age and sex, and also by where someone lives.
Generally, an adult male needs about 3 liters per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters per day. All of the water a person needs does not have to come from drinking liquids, as some of this water is contained in the food we eat.
Water regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and respiration, lubricates joints, and assists the body in flushing waste. It is easy to see then, why water is essential for improving overall health.
Eat a Diet That is Rich in Fiber
Include a variety of high-fiber foods every day, such as raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These foods help prevent constipation. They also provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need for healthy aging. Fiber rich foods can also help maintain weight, and reduce your risk of heart problems. If you’re not sure you’re getting enough fiber, talk to your doctor about supplements.
Follow The USDA Food Guide MyPlate Plan.
The USDA MyPlate plan offers tips for building a healthy, balanced diet by setting down certain dietary guidelines. These tips include: making half your plate fruits and vegetables, consuming a diet rich in whole grains, and practicing portion control, as well comparing sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choosing the option with the lower count.
Our bodies change as we age. In turn, seniors have very different nutritional needs than teenagers, children, and even middle-aged adults. Age-related changes can affect how your body processes food, which influences your dietary needs and affects your appetite. It is important to maintain good nutrition in order to age gracefully into your golden years.
If you are a senior who is considering making the move to an assisted living community, work with a qualified senior placement agencies to find a facility that will meet your specific dietary needs.