The Importance of Proper Nutrition as We Age
Ever wondered how you can maintain your quality of life as you get older?
As we age, our tastes change, and our health becomes a greater factor in accessing healthy foods. Here are a few tips to maintaining a healthy diet as we age.
What is healthy nutrition?
The basics of a healthy diet are pretty simple—fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, whole grains, some dairy, healthy fats, and minimal salt. Just make sure you eat each of those every day and you’re good to go, right? Well, yes and no.
Portion size and components of your meals also play a key role in ensuring healthy nutrition. It’s important to get the right nutrients, the right number of calories, and plenty of fluids—preferably water.
The logical next question would be, how do I do that? It’s important to understand that the specific nutrient requirements of an aging population are not well defined, but there are many choices that can help protect your health and your quality of life as you age.
What Steps Can You Take?
1. Talk to your doctor. Be open about your concerns and be willing to take the advice you receive, even if it seems daunting at first.
2. Consider a multivitamin. In order to combat nutrient deficiencies caused by a decreased ability to absorb necessary nutrients, consider augmenting a healthy diet with recommended supplements.
3. Add variety to meals. It’s important to replace processed foods with nutrient-dense whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats where possible.
4. Exercise daily. Regular physical activity goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition. Daily movement can strengthen bones, fight factors that can lead to heart disease and stroke, and reduce depression—just remember to talk to your doctor first.
5. Get outside where possible. As skin ages, its ability to convert vitamin D from sunlight also begins to decline, so it becomes more important to get outside and get some fresh air and sunlight.
Related: Low-impact Workouts for Seniors
Maintaining your nutrition as you age can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Be willing to try new foods, be open and communicative with your doctor, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.
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