A well-balanced diet is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. It is often said that “you are what you eat” which is true to a great extent! Eating healthy is necessary for staying healthy! It helps you to stay fit, active and energized. Plus, it keeps a lot of corporal disorders at bay. Most importantly, healthy food provides your body with adequate nutrition, allowing it to work healthily.
Young people are normally very active and can eat all kinds of food. All they have to do is to keep a check that they don’t miss out on any essential nutrient. However, the case is different with older people. As people age, they experience many bodily changes. They tend to become less active and a little weak. This is because they cannot eat whatever they want which makes them vulnerable to not getting enough nutrients. Thus, to fulfill their daily nutrient requirement, elderly people need to be very cautious about their food choices.
Elderly Friendly Foods
Healthy eating for elders mainly emphasizes on low-fat or fat-free food, fruits and vegetables, and food rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. For example, they can eat;
- Whole grains
- Lean meat
- Low-fat dairy products
It should be noted that whatever an older person eats, shall be cooked thoroughly. Their immune system is a little weak, elevating the chances of infections. Thus, uncooked or poorly-cooked food might expose them to infectious microbes which may cause certain diseases. Also, if an individual has a certain health condition like diabetes or cardiovascular disorders, he/she should consult a certified dietitian for a healthy diet plan. For instance, foods rich in calcium, Vitamin-D, Vitamin B-12 are highly recommended for elders. Salmon, milk, and dairy products can provide you with these nutrients but they also contain fats that might hamper your heart health. Therefore, it is better to consult an expert before beginning with a diet.
Food products high in fat content should be avoided as they can cause various cardiovascular issues. Sugar intake must be checked strictly to avoid diabetes. Elders should avoid consuming packaged/canned foods and prefer fresh products e.g. fresh juices, vegetables, meat, etc. They should begin with these simple recommendations;
- Eat fresh fruits. Wash well before consuming them.
- Dark leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, etc. are the best. Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are also recommended.
- Fish, eggs, beans, peas, and pulses are the best sources of proteins. Make sure to cook them well.
- Three ounces of whole grains are a must every day! Cereals, brown-bread, whole-grain rice can serve the purpose.
- Avoid solid or trans-fat. Eat fat-free dairy fortified with vitamin-D.
With these recommendations, practice some physical activities too. Try to work-out for at least 30 minutes a day. No heavy gyms, just a heart-friendly walk in your backyard, a little running with your children or grandchildren can work the best.