Healthy eating habits are important to maintaining a senior’s good health. As we age, our appetite naturally decreases and it can be difficult to get proper nutrition. Here are some tips to help seniors in a home care or assisted living setting.
Don’t Drink Your Fruit
Juices taste good but they lack fiber, an important part of a healthy diet. Fiber keeps your digestive system regular. Juice can also contain as much sugar as a soda. Aim for about 2 servings of fruits daily.
Eat a Rainbow
When choosing vegetables, a variety of color can also mean a variety of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Dark and leafy greens, bright bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots are all good choices. A serving of yams can provide around 377% of your daily vitamin A intake. Look for new and clean recipes to enjoy your veggies in different ways.
Go for Whole Grains
White bread tastes good but contains almost no fiber. Choose heartier breads that have whole grains listed near the beginning of the ingredients list. They tend to have more texture, fuller flavor and they are much better for you. If you choose, you can bake your own bread. Add whole wheat flour and even experiment with oatmeal or flax seeds. The bread making possibilities are endless.
Don’t Forget Protein
Protein is important to senior health, as we naturally lose muscle as we age. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. When we exercise, a quick snack of protein afterwards will help our muscles repair and grow stronger. It is important to get at least .5 grams per pound of bodyweight of protein daily. You can get this from meats, cheeses, fish, beans, milk and even seeds.
Hydration is Key
Water is essential to health and as we age, dehydration becomes more of a risk. You can obtain some fluid from fruits and veggies but be sure to drink water regularly. You can set a reminder for yourself hourly. Tea is also a good way to get hydrated but be careful of added sugars. If you can, drink unsweetened with a bit of lemon. Avoiding excess salt is also a good idea. You can prevent water retention and high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help to ensure a happier and healthier body for years to come.