Try these simple tips to maintain your overall health and wellbeing
Healthy eating is important at every age, but perhaps especially as we age. Maintaining good nutritional health will help us stay healthy, strong and energetic, and fight off chronic diseases. And it doesn’t have to be challenging. There are many simple tips that all adults can follow to maintain a healthier diet.
While many retirement communities offer great ways to help residents stay on top of their nutritional intake, from in-suite meals to one-on-one care, this article will provide a few additional tips that seniors can use on their own to feel their best.
Let’s take a closer look at smart eating tips that can help seniors maintain their overall health and wellbeing.
Eat Good, Feel Good
There are a few simple tips to remember that can help you maintain healthy habits on a daily basis.
Drink more liquids
One of the most important nutritional practices is drinking more liquids. As we age, our sense of thirst lessens – but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on liquids. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Sugar free juices and smoothies made with fresh ingredients are also great options, as are milk and milk alternatives such as almond or oat milk.
Less salt, less sugar
Our sense of taste declines with age, which may have you reaching for the salt shaker. However, too much salt can be harmful and lead to complications, such as high blood pressure. As an alternative, try seasoning your food with different herbs and spices. Herbs such as basil or parsley can be fresh and fragrant additions to your meals, while spices like cayenne provide a bit of heat. As for sugary treats, consider replacing them with naturally sweet food, such as fruits.
Adding variety to your diet will help you ensure you get the nutritional elements you need, from proteins, to fruits and veggies, to grains and dairy. A varied diet will also make dining more exciting and enjoyable when it’s time to eat.
Give Thought to Your Food
Taking a little extra time to think about your diet and studying the foods you’re consuming can go a long way. Being mindful and educated about food is particularly important in order to maintain good nutrition.
Plan your meals
Consider planning your meals at the beginning of the week. This tip helps you stay on top of your healthy diet. Depending on the meals you make, it’s possible to make a week’s worth of meals and freeze them. Having someone else plan for you can also be helpful.
Another simple, but effective technique to try is reading labels. Read the labels of your food to learn more about their nutritional value and follow recommended servings. Some foods may be advertised as “healthy”, but are actually loaded with unhealthy additives and preservatives upon closer inspection. Some ingredients that you should consider avoiding include sodium nitrates (which are usually found in processed meats) and artificial colours and flavours.
Write it down
Keeping a food journal will help you be more mindful of your daily food and fluid intake. A food journal also serves as a useful record to share with your doctor if you notice any changes to your health, or to ensure you’re meeting your daily nutritional requirements.
Pick out some supplements
While whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, should be the main source of your nutritional needs, sometimes you just need a little more. Talk with your doctor about possible vitamin supplements. When it comes to nutrition and seniors, your doctor should be your go-to source on how to maintain good health.
More Than Just Food
Oftentimes, maintaining healthy eating habits is about more than just the foods you consume. It’s about turning nutritional habits into enjoyable and shareable moments.
Make mealtime social
Dining with friends or family can be a great way to catch up while staying on top of your healthy habits. It’s also the perfect time to discuss nutrition with someone else and to encourage one another to make healthier choices.
Shop with others
Though perhaps not as practical for the time being, shopping with a friend or family member is another great way to be social, to share tips for senior nutrition, and to motivate one another to make healthy choices.
Talk about it
Another helpful way to prioritize your nutrition and health goals is by talking to others about them – especially with a family doctor, nurse, nutritionist or health expert. Sharing this information will inform those around you about your particular needs, which can help professionals provide you with the right tools and resources to achieve your goals.
Regardless of age, making sure you meet your daily nutritional needs will help you feel your best – and it doesn’t have to be complicated. By putting a little extra thought and preparation into your meals, and sharing your changing needs with others, you can ensure you maintain great habits.