Healthy eating plays a major role in our overall well-being, no matter our age. At any age, but especially as we age, ensuring proper nutrition and eating habits is vital. With each passing year, our metabolism slows down, our strength diminishes, and we are more likely to develop chronic diseases and conditions related to our eating habits. However, these we can help prevent and combat these onset problems with the help of a smart diet designed to promote health and wellness in people of any age, but especially seniors. This is why, at every single Pacifica Senior Living community, you will find a dedicated chef and kitchen that is here to provide you and your loved ones with delicious and nutritious meals three times a day, every single day.
Here are few dietary pointers to help improve your overall health:
- Hydration therapy – Drinking plenty of fluids ensures that you stay hydrated. As we age, our thirst diminishes and it’s a good idea to introduce more fluids into your daily diet, such as water, fat-free milk, 100% fresh juice, tea, soup, or water rich fruits and vegetables.
- Planning is the key – Plan your meals beforehand to eliminate the chance of missing a meal. Make a meal calendar and try to stick to it.
- Let go of your sweet tooth – Sugary treats have a lot of refined sugars, which has no nutritional value. Try satisfying your sweet tooth by substituting sugary treats with naturally sweet foods.
- Read, read & read some more! – While shopping for canned and packaged goods, make sure to read the nutritional values on the label. It may read “healthy” in bold, but the fine print might be loaded with sodium, added fat, and sugar.
- Say “Na” to NaCl – Adding table salt to increase flavor is detrimental can often be bad for seniors, as it exacerbates the problems caused high-blood pressure, which can cause stroke, heart and kidney diseases.
- Spice and herb it up! – To add flavor to your food, try using fresh spices and herbs in place of salt. Basil, turmeric, cayenne pepper, rosemary and sage are great choices that are filled with flavor!
- Size matters – Seek help from your doctor to know more about the recommended serving size for you in order to maintain a healthy weight. Often we serve or are served an oversized portion, so it’s important to know what the correct serving size looks like on your plate.
- Supplements – You should consider discussing with your doctor about additional supplements that can be taken to give your overall health an additional boost.
- Friendly Fats – Choose foods that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help in safeguarding the body against diseases and also aid in mood and mental welfare.
- Variety is always good! – Having a varied diet is very important. Make sure you eat daily servings of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains as recommended by the National Council of Aging.
- Include fiber – Eating fiber-rich foods assists in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, avoids constipation and other digestive problems, and helps in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains and oats are some foods rich in fiber.
- Social eating – As you age, you do not feel like eating. Try making it a social activity in the company of family and friends. This approach ensures that you savor every bite and turn mealtime into a pleasurable event.