The Connection Between Aging Well and Food
Good nutrition is the key to better health. It can boost immunity, fight illness-causing toxins, keep weight in check, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, and cancer. Need more convincing? When combined with physical activity, a balanced diet also contributes to enhanced independence as you age.
The food you eat fuels your body and helps you stay active, healthy and strong—so it’s important to give it the right amount—and kind of—nutrients. If you are over 60, you may be experiencing a diminished appetite. As we grow older our bodies naturally require fewer calories, but we still need plenty of nutrients to help us avoid chronic fatigue, poor digestion, poor metabolic function, unplanned weight loss and illness.
The five most important nutrients for aging adults are:
Add cheese, yogurt, beans and almonds to your diet to support healthy teeth and bones.
- Vitamin D
Foods like egg yolks, tuna, mackerel, salmon and orange juice are high in vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin B12
Add eggs, trout, salmon, beef, liver and chicken to your diet to promote proper nerve function and brain health—increasing B12 intake may also help slow cognitive decline in women.
Focus on fruits like bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, strawberries and raspberries to boost your daily fiber. These delicious foods can help aid proper digestion as well as prevent age-related diseases and illnesses like high cholesterol, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Aging bodies need more protein to maintain muscle mass, strength and other physiological functions. Add chicken, eggs, almonds, oats and broccoli to be sure you’re giving your body plenty of muscle-building fuel.
Aging well with proper nutrition
The dietary department at Seaside Health and Rehabilitation Center is ready to help determine what proper nutrition looks like for you and your unique health care needs. Let’s get started with these quick tips:
- Stay hydrated to avoid constipation
- Add supplements to aid digestion, protect brain health and prevent bone loss with supplements
- Refresh your daily meals with nutrient-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats
- Eat fiber with every meal or snack to promote proper digestion and ward off many age-related illnesses
- Add omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your brain healthy
Eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to thrive. Contact us at (386) 252-2600 to find out how our safe, effective senior rehabilitation services can help you age gracefully.