At any age, eating healthy is crucial. Good nutrition throughout the lifespan helps prevent chronic disease. But as one ages, nutrition can have a startlingly significant impact on vitality and longevity, possibly even more so than heredity. As we know, it is never too late to make changes to support healthy aging. Age-related changes in muscle and bone mass, such as osteoporosis, as well as chronic disorders like cancer and heart disease are more common in older people. The good news is that eating nutrient-dense meals and maintaining an active lifestyle can reduce risk of many diseases.
Healthy Eating Habits
Here are some healthy foods to support the aging process.
- Concentrate on healthy plant based food: Polyphenols, carotenoids, folate, and vitamin C are just a few of the minerals and antioxidants that are abundant in plant-based diets. In fact, after examining clinical trials and epidemiological studies on aging by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, researchers discovered that people who ate plant-based foods were up to 50% less likely to develop chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease that are more likely to develop with age.
- Eat lean protein: Consuming adequate protein can stop the loss of lean muscle mass. However, older persons, particularly those who are 70 and above, frequently consume too little protein. Fish, dairy products, fortified soy substitutes, beans, peas, and lentils are also excellent sources of protein. In addition to providing extra nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and fiber, these protein sources are also
- Eat more unprocessed, whole foods: Many nutritionists say that eating a diet high in processed foods can hasten the cell aging process. This is mostly because highly processed meals frequently contain a lot of hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fats and can encourage chronic inflammation which speeds up cell deterioration (or aging). The blue zones refer to five areas of the world where people often live to be over 100, and the Blue Zone diet heavily emphasizes plant food.
- Consume more nuts: Nuts are a great whole-food snack to substitute processed, unhealthy options that can speed the weight gain that occurs as people age. Nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be able to enhance focus and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Eat calcium and fiber-rich food: While fiber can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, calcium helps preserve bone strength and keeps bones healthy as we age. Both are essential elements to incorporate in your diet as you get older. Include low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt in your diet for a calcium-rich boost. If digestion is a problem with dairy products, try foods made with goat’s milk, which are usually easier to digest. If dairy is not your thing, you may get the calcium you need from plant-based foods like seeds, beans, lentils, and leafy greens.
- Stay hydrated: Water is a basic but essential component of good health because it is required for practically all bodily processes, such as digestion, regulating body temperature, and circulation. However, many people are unaware that as we age, the body loses water and, regrettably, we also lose our sense of thirst. Drink water frequently throughout the day, aiming for 8 glasses, to offset this loss. Green tea, which is high in antioxidants, may help improve memory and mental alertness as you age.
- Red wine and coffee in moderation: Red wine and coffee can both be beneficial additions to an aging adult’s balanced diet, although moderation is crucial in this situation. Antioxidants, which are believed to strengthen the immune system, are included in both cherished beverages. Additionally, these drinks are known to stimulate blood flow, which may lengthen lifespan. Both coffee and red wine have also been found to lower the risk of depression and may prevent against illnesses of the brain like Alzheimer’s.
What you eat and how you eat are two significant factors in everyone’s life. Healthy eating practices are crucial at every age, but have a more significant impact as we get older and our nutritional requirements change. Make every mouthful count by making good food choices regardless of your age.