You may think that eating well is just about losing weight, but following a nutritious diet has many other benefits. As you age, your diet becomes your first line of defense against disease. Studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. The foods you choose even affect your brain and your memory. Therefore, when it comes to nutrition for older adults, what you eat matters!
Fill Up on Fiber
The fiber found in oatmeal, oat bran, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, citrus fruits, and many other foods may lower cholesterol levels. Fiber also controls blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream after a meal. It can also help with weight management because it makes you feel fuller longer.
Mixing up a smoothie with some berries and seeds will give you a good dose of fiber. Here are a couple of Crockpot Recipes designed for the senior diet that are full of fiber and flavor!
Your body doesn’t make essential nutrients on its own, so it depends on what you eat and drink to supply them. The omega-3 fatty acids in seafood help your heart, joints, and eyesight, and they’re also crucial for brain health. These types of fish are high in omega-3s:
- Lake trout
- Tuna fish (canned light)
Swap meat for seafood to get the nutrients you need, and talk with your doctor about taking supplements if you’re concerned about not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
Consume More Plant Protein Sources
Eat more plant protein sources, such as beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. These are good for heart health, the environment, and the planet. With the exception of soybean products such as tofu and edamame, plant proteins don’t contain all the amino acids that animal-based foods do, but including a variety of plant foods throughout the day will help you get all nine essential amino acids.
Substitute Healthier Fats
Healthy fats include olive oil, avocado, salmon, and nuts. Eating healthy fats can lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. Healthy fats also protect you against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health conditions.
Eating healthily is important at any age. However, when it comes to nutrition for older adults, what you eat matters most. A healthy diet can help you maintain good health and reduce your disease risk. However, your nutritional needs change as you age, so making healthy choices is essential.