Giving your body the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can promote healthy aging. As you grow older, your metabolism slows down and you may more of certain nutrients than before. This means you have to choose foods that can give you the best nutritional value. Good nutrition can lower your risk of chronic disease and can help you enjoy a long and healthy life. Here are some nutrition tips for healthy aging:
- Maintain a healthy diet: According to Forbes Custom, new studies show diet and nutrition may indeed promote healthy aging and reduce risk of age-related disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines good nutrition as an adequate, well-balanced diet and stresses that poor nutrition can result in reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. So the first rule for healthy aging is to maintain a healthy diet.
- Eat more fresh produce: Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Many studies have shown that people who consume diets high in fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Avoid processed or canned vegetables and fruits as they may have lot of preservatives and may include large amounts of salt or sugar.
- Stick to recommended servings: Eating the right food in the right proportion will provide the fuel needed to perform daily activities and at the same time help maintain your weight. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
- Keep an eye on saturated fats: Saturated fats can increase your risk of chronic diseases such as increase in blood cholesterol level and heart diseases. Limit intake of these unhealthy fat foods and include unsaturated fats such as olive oil, semi-skimmed(1%) or skimmed milk, lean or extra lean mince, chicken without skin, reduced fat cheddar, reduced fat spread, and plain biscuit.
- Lower sodium intake: Too much sodium intake can be a risk factor for developing heart disease. Healthy adults need only 1500 mg of sodium per day, however, 60% of older adults consume closer to 3400 mg. Limit sodium and try to flavor your foods without using salt or with less salt.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D: As you age, your body needs both calcium and vitamin D for the maintenance of the bones. Milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium. Other sources include fish with edible bones (e.g. salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables like kale, calcium fortified soy products, white bread and fortified breakfast cereals. Physicians may recommend vitamin D supplements for those who are unable to get the needed calcium and Vitamin D from their diet.
- Drink plenty of water: Drink water as much as you can. According to the Mayo Clinic, your intake is probably adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow. Avoid sugary cold drinks and keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.
Even though you are taking vitamin supplements, it is important to have a balanced diet too as supplements can replace its benefits. Remember that taken in excess, supplements may be harmful. Make exercise a part of routine as it keep you physically and mentally fit.