In order to live a long, healthy life, we need to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Nutrition is important at any age, but it becomes even more critical as we get older. Last year, the USDA and Health and Human Services issued new recommendations on nutrition for healthy living at every stage of life, from birth through elder adulthood, or for those over 60. Read on to find out how to eat well as you get older.
Eat More Fish
The risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke, as well as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, increases with age. However, consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats found in fish, may help reduce inflammation. To get the advantages of eating fish on a regular basis, aim for two to three servings each week. Walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and a few other plant-based foods also contain omega-3 fatty acids, so include these in your diet as well.
Eat High Protein Foods
While eating protein is crucial at any age, people in their 60s and above have greater needs since their muscles need that additional boost for strength and repair after exercise and can’t utilize protein to create muscle as effectively as they did earlier in life. Even if you’re not quite 60, protein-rich meals can help you feel fuller for longer, so it’s not a terrible idea to eat a little extra. Choose lean proteins such as steak, fish, chicken breast, and turkey, and fill up on plant-based foods such as tofu, lentils, and quinoa. Almonds are also particularly high in protein, so try to use them in your cooking; for example, try this almond extract recipe.
Eat High Calcium Foods
As you get older, your bone density decreases, so you need calcium-rich foods to increase your bone density, reduce your risk of osteoporosis, avoid fractures and damage, and keep your bones strong and stable. Calcium requirements for women increase by 51 percent, from 1,000 mg/day to 1,200 mg/day. You might also consider the Mediterranean diet, which may lessen your risk of osteoporosis. It’s heavy in fish, vegetables, cheese, and grains, and it’s low in processed, high-sugar meals. Milk, cheese, Greek yogurt, fortified non-dairy milks, eggs, and leafy greens are excellent calcium sources.
Eat The Rainbow
Look for bright colors to fill your plate since this indicates that you’re receiving enough foods, such as vegetables and fruit, which are excellent for your body as you age. Greens, oranges, reds, purples, and yellows, in particular, offer antioxidants that may help you fight aging. Berries, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, melon, broccoli, eggplant, beets, bell peppers, and squash are also good options.
Eat When You’re Hungry
While you shouldn’t eat mindlessly every hour or consume enormous servings at each meal, you should pay attention to hunger signals and eat when you’re hungry. This not only nourishes your body, but it may also aid in the maintenance of your metabolism. The metabolic burn gradually slows with age, so as you reach your 50s, you burn fewer calories at rest than you did when you were younger. Maintain your metabolism throughout the day by fuelling it every three to four hours and snacking as needed.