<!–[CDATA[At the start of a new year, people often resolve to eat healthier. For older adults, what constitutes a well-balanced meal is different than in younger days. While seniors typically need fewer calories, they require more vitamins and minerals than they used to.
If you are over the age of sixty and wondering what some healthy food choices are, we have a few tips to keep in mind as you plan meals.
Eating Well during Retirement
1. Protein for healthy muscles and core strength
The body needs protein for building muscle mass. It is essential for maintaining the core strength that prevents falls. You’ll find protein in lean meats, eggs, tofu, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, and quinoa.
Talk with your primary care physician if you aren’t sure what your daily protein intake should be.
2. Healthy fats to lower inflammation
Foods such as olive oil, nuts, and oily fish contain powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients. Because inflammation is linked to diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to heart disease, these types of foods should be staples in a senior’s diet. They’re so powerful researchers say they may actually be more effective than statin drugs in reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
3. A rainbow of fruits and vegetables
Diet can play an important role in preventing some forms of cancer, such as stomach, bowel, breast, and prostate. Incorporating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is best. As a guideline, your meal plan should include at least three vegetables and two fruits each day.
While nutritionists often say raw vegetables offer the most benefits, some methods of cooking are better than others. Steaming and roasting are two healthy options.
4. Foods rich in fiber
Fiber is important at every age, but especially as we grow older. It helps prevent constipation and other digestive-related health problems. Experts say women should eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams.
Foods that contain a substantial amount of fiber include berries, pears, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and corn.
5. Bone-building calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D work hand-in-hand to keep bones healthy and strong. As we age, our bodies don’t absorb it as easily as in younger days. Increasing your intake as you grow older is essential. Foods like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese are good choices.
6. Iron for energy
Iron-rich foods also help you stay healthier during retirement. Lean red meat, legumes, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and sardines are all high in iron.
While experts say men over 51 should eat 2 ½ servings and women over 51 should eat 2 servings of protein a day, it’s another issue to discuss with your primary care physician.
Five Star Signature Dining
At Five Star Senior Living communities, we’ve been setting the standard for excellence in dining for decades. You can learn more by calling (853) 457-8271 today!