Healthy Eating for Seniors
Someone once said that it's not the "years in your life, but the life in your years" that matters. This seems particularly true when you think about health. Good health is one of those things that you take for granted when you have it, but miss it almost more than anything else when it's gone.
We're Not Getting Any Younger
As the population ages, and the percentage of people over the age of 60 increases, concerns for seniors are often at the forefront of the healthy eating debate. As we age, our bodies change and the necessity for eating healthy becomes more critical in order to avoid the problems that can plague older adults. These include vision and hearing loss, digestive troubles, senility, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Because our bodies are miraculous machines, we do have some margin in our lives for neglect, especially when we are young. We can overeat, under sleep, over stress, etc. and our bodies forgive us, make the adjustments, and go on. But this is true only up to a point. Of course, as we age, that tipping point gets closer and closer. Eventually, there is little or no margin left, and we have to pursue a healthy lifestyle or our bodies will fail.
Here is a list of strategies to stay healthy as you age.
-Eat nutritious foods and skip empty calories, including sugary and salty snacks.
-Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods emphasizing fresh or lightly cooked vegetables and lean proteins.
-Eat modest, regular meals and healthy snacks.
-Include 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
-Choose low-fat dairy products and leaner meats.
-Resist overeating, which taxes the digestive system.
-Get some Omega-3’s each day from fish oil, freshly ground flax seed or walnuts.
-Eat organic foods when possible, especially when choosing dairy, meat and eggs.
-Stay active to help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
-Keep your weight at an appropriate level.
-Get some sunshine each day, whenever possible, to keep Vitamin D levels up.
-Enjoy your food and your life, and remember to nurture your mind and spirit.
Seniors may be susceptible to a deficiency of Vitamin B12 because the stomach may not contain the proper amount of hydrochloric acid, causing poor absorption of this important B vitamin. Click here for more information on Vitamins.
A final note about healthy eating for seniors
Don't wait until you become a senior citizen to pay attention to your health. Begin early to pursue a healthy eating lifestyle, so that your golden years will be good years.