Being proactive about your nutrition is key to aging well. Follow these tips to maximize your overall health.
As you age, it's very important to watch what you eat. As an older adult, it should be a top priority to eat nutritious foods and take care of your body to lessen your risk of harboring chronic conditions that may make it more difficult to stay active and independent.
Here are a few tips for being proactive about your nutrition:
Get screened for loss of senses
With age, senses are likely to become more faint or even lost completely. And when it comes to smell and taste, these two senses are extremely important for determining if you are hungry and thirsty, which help you to properly fuel your body, according to Time magazine.
By getting screened annually for loss of taste and smell, you can be proactive about your health and make certain you are fully aware of your thirst and diet. The source suggested also taking precautions such as upgrading your kitchen smoke detector, relying on product expiration dates and flavoring your foods with spices instead of sweeteners. This is a nutritious way to boost the flavor in your meals and it even aids digestion.
Add high-quality protein to your diet
By eating a diet that is full of high-quality protein, you can greatly improve your mental wellbeing, according to Helpguide. Proteins can improve your mood and strengthen your resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. Paying close attention to the quality of proteins you're eating is extremely important, however, because certain processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon and salami can actually increase your risk of heart disease, cancers and other health complications without adding much health benefit.
Instead of relying heavily on red meat for protein, add more fish, beans, peas, eggs, nuts and seeds to your diet. Plant-based protein sources are just as good for you, and they're typically the cheaper option!
Eat more fiber
Unfortunately, the digestive system becomes weak with age. That's why it's crucial to include enough fiber in your diet. It is suggested that women over the age of 50 eat at least 21 grams per day and men eat at least 30 grams per day. Whole grains, wheat cereals, beans, nuts and raw fruits and vegetables make excellent fiber sources, so consider sprucing up your meals with more of these foods.
Eating a well-balanced diet isn't the only important factor in balanced nutrition. Making sure your body is properly hydrated is also crucial, according to the National Council on Aging. Do your best to fuel your body so that you never become dehydrated. Water and nutrition-conscious beverages are your best options for healthy hydration - stay away from sugary drinks such as fruit juice concentrates and carbonated sodas as they can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also contribute to unhealthy weight gain.
Visit the dentist
By scheduling an annual visit to the dentist, you can make certain that you aren't dealing with any dental issues that make it difficult to take proper care of the rest of your body. Time magazine said dental pain often makes it hard for seniors to meet protein requirements because chewing is an issue. Not only that, but gum disease can predict vascular disease and a red swollen tongue could indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. It is suggested to visit the dentist at least once a year, so make sure you're meeting that requirement.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living