Eating a healthy, balanced diet is difficult for everyone, but it can be even more challenging once we enter our golden years. As we age, our body’s ability to process and absorb vitamins and minerals change as well. So our eating habits must also change as a result.
Our metabolism begins to slow, are appetite might begin to decrease, our bones become more brittle, and we can begin to witness a decline in muscle mass. Our immunity systems are not as strong as they once were, which makes us more susceptible to infection and disease. To guarantee a long and productive life, consider making these few simple changes to your daily diet.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. These will help maintain the digestive system.
- Reduce the amount of salt and sodium. This will help boost the cardiovascular system.
- Stay away from processed sugars and sweets. Replace the cakes, cookies, and candies with more fresh or frozen fruits instead. Eating more whole grains, like oats and whole wheat breads and cereals will also curb your craving for sweets.
- Substitute healthier oils like coconut, olive, flaxseed, avocado, or grape seed oil for those hydrogenated fats when cooking. They also taste great in fresh garden salads or served over steamed vegetables.
- Eat foods high in Vitamin E to improve and maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair. Try adding sweet potatoes, asparagus, and papaya into your daily diet.
- Try to include 30 grams per day of fiber into your diet by eating more whole wheat, oat bran, nuts, seeds, or brown rice. Staying away from the “white” refined foods like white rice or white bread will help to maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Drink plenty of water. Experts recommend drinking half of your body weight in water per day, but 8 large glasses per day is also a good guideline. This will help to keep the body hydrated and positively affect nearly every aspect of your physical health.
Changing our eating habits is always a bit challenging and even a bit frustrating. You might want to trying implementing these changes one-at-a-time rather than all at once. Go for “progress” rather than “perfection.” You’ll feel better and look better, too!