Nutrition Tips for Seniors to Stay Strong in Mind and Body
As you age, you face many health challenges. For example, malnutrition is a common risk that one out of every two seniors face, according to the American Society on Aging. Read on for easy, cost-effective ways you can gain a better handle on nutrition to help you age healthily and enjoy retirement.
Eat The Essentials
No matter how young or old you are, what you consume fuels the processes your body performs 24/7. As you grow older, your metabolism slows, and your body changes. Physical and mental health changes can affect your eating habits. For example, loss of taste and smell can lead to poor food choices, resulting in either eating too little or too much. These eating habits can put you at risk of various health conditions like heart disease.
Relying on unhealthy foods can also lead to malnutrition, which can advance symptoms of aging. Your immune system, bones, muscles, and organ function are all impacted by malnutrition. So do your best to avoid it by monitoring what’s on your plate first.
It’s important to focus on choosing nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods when you do eat. Take in lean proteins, fruits and veggies, whole grains rather than refined grains, and low-fat dairy products. If you have a favorite snack or dessert that’s processed, go ahead and indulge; however, stick to the recommended serving size on the nutrition facts label.
There may be some circumstances that you feel are holding you back from eating nutritiously, but you still have options. For instance, if you can’t afford healthy foods while on a fixed income, see if you qualify for any government assistance. Or, if you have trouble getting to the grocery store, The Food Oasis recommends that you can look into transportation services that can help. Just remember that you may need to set up an appointment beforehand.
If you need further assistance and don’t qualify for federal funds, the experts at Amazing Grace Homecare can help with things like transportation, grocery shopping, and cooking, as well as other tasks like laundry and pet care. Something else to consider is that having a helping hand in the kitchen means you don’t have to rely on ready-made meals. You’ll have someone around that can assist with meal prep and do the cooking for you. This will save you money at the grocery store while allowing you to eat well.
Take Vitamins and Supplements
Your plate can be full of naturally colorful foods full of fiber and low in salt, but you might be missing out on minerals and vitamins that are needed to optimize your body’s processes. To maintain and improve your health, supplement your daily intake with a multivitamin. Find a multivitamin that contains the fully recommended amount of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and K, calcium, biotin, and riboflavin. To keep your bones healthy, increase your vitamin D intake.
If you have any questions about the missing pieces of your diet, consult your doctor and ask about getting blood work done. Another option for those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan is verifying eligibility for a wellness program, which can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle. Look into getting one of these plans, if you don’t already have one, to benefit from extra support in your nutritional wellness journey. What’s more, shopping for new healthcare coverage is a great way to help save some money, especially if you think you’re paying too much for your current Medicare policy. Keep in mind that you may want to work with an agent to help you determine which plan fits both your needs and your budget.
Be Mindful of Your Body
Check in with yourself every once in a while, so you can pick up on any changes in your body as soon as they happen. Your body is naturally aging, but you can decrease your risk for early or accelerated development of symptoms by staying receptive.
Aging is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t mean putting your nutritional needs on the backburner. So, aside from eating nutritious foods, make sure you exercise regularly — at whatever level works for you — manage your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and kick any bad habits, like smoking or drinking, to help you achieve a long and happy life.
Our guest blogger is Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net. Karen created Elder Wellness as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well. We thank her for her contribution and look forward to learning more from Karen!
Image courtesy of Pixabay.