A Guide to Healthy Eating for Seniors
Whether it’s a parent telling their kids to finish their vegetables or a health nut trying a new diet, everyone has their own ideas about healthy eating. But you might be surprised to learn which foods make the biggest impact on our long-term health and wellness. With the help of hardworking superfoods and a deliberate approach to dining, you can make sure your diet is both balanced and nutritious. Read on to find out more.
The Basics of Senior Nutrition
As we age, our bodies can change in significant and surprising ways. For example, an older adult may take longer to digest their meals. They might feel thirsty less frequently than a younger person, which can lead to dehydration and loss of appetite. Food might even seem less flavorful than it used to.
Building a strong foundation of consistent dietary habits is the best place to start. Here are a few of the most important things to remember:
- Drink plenty of water. Just think about it – our bodies are mostly made of water, yet proper hydration is often neglected. When you’re dehydrated, nothing in your digestive system works the way it should. Plus, drinking plenty of water will make you feel more energetic, clear-minded and alert.
- Lean & clean. Eating a diet with plenty of lean meats and green leafy vegetables will help make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Mix in some whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta but avoid excess sodium.
- Fiber is key. Not only does fiber keep things moving – it’s also an underrated aid to your heart health. Eating a diet rich in fiber will lower blood pressure and inflammation, and it also helps control blood sugar levels, reducing your risk for diabetes.
- Avoid bad fats. Butter might taste great, but you shouldn’t cook most of your food using it. Instead, opt for natural oils like olive oil. But be aware – not all oils are created equal. Be mindful of the specific smoke point of your oil of choice. Cooking with an overly-hot fire can add harmful carcinogens to your food.
- Imbibe in moderation. A little liquor is fine, a little wine is even better. The current science says that alcohol in moderation can lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk for blood clots. Plus, red wine carries proven benefits to heart health. Moderate consumption is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
What are ‘Superfoods’?
You may have heard of the hyper-healthy class of consumables commonly called superfoods. But what are they really? The typical definition is any food that contains vital fats or vitamins that work to boost multiple aspects of your bodily health.
Many fruits and vegetables – including antioxidant-rich blueberry and high-iron broccoli – come packed with essential nutrients while also being low in calories. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are known to boost long-term brain health. Best of all, these superfoods are known to be some of the most heart healthy foods for seniors.
The Buckingham Difference
As the premier senior living community serving Houston-area seniors across a broad spectrum of dietary requirements and personal preferences, The Buckingham team knows a thing or two about health-conscious dining. We work hard every day to tailor our menus to each individual’s tastes and needs – it’s a vital part of our commitment to the lasting health and quality of life of our residents. Visit our dining options page to learn more.