Senior nutrition needs are not so different from what a body requires for optimum health and energy at any age. But there are some "ways of eating" that make sense for older adults, assuring that your body has the building blocks to remain in top operating condition.
Rather than continuing the familiar "three squares a day" pattern of breakfast, lunch and dinner, return to your childhood pattern of small regular meals accompanied by two or three snacks. It makes a lot of sense, and snacking helps regulate insulin and blood sugar levels throughout the day. It's a natural way to maintain energy and helps control appetite and calorie intake.
Our bodies seem to need fewer calories as we age, perhaps due to lifestyle, but many seniors find that it's a challenge to keep from losing weight. Eating five or six "small meals" each day is a way to combat that. It's also a wonderful way to add variety to your diet and to socialize more!
Eating well doesn't have to be hard. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Here are some basic tips for eating well at any age, but they're especially good for older adults who are committed to continuing wellness.
Tips For Eating Well At Any Age
Fruits and Vegetables
Build your diet on the colorful, fresh foods that are so good for you. Fruit is great at any meal, and especially good for a snack; whole fruits are better than juice. Many fruits, especially berries, are high in antioxidants, help to reduce inflammation and fight disease, and contain beneficial potassium, folate, and Vitamin C.
Vegetables, especially leafy greens and dark-hued and colorful broccoli, beets, squash, and carrots are packed with needed vitamins and minerals, and are extremely nutritious, as well as low in calories and high in fiber. Vegetable soup can be a mainstay of a daily diet, either to start a meal or as a meal. Salads, too, can stand alone or be a part of a meal. Just make them interesting by adding unexpected ingredients like cranberries or kiwi, almonds and walnuts, goat cheese or mozzarella. Variety is the spice of life!
Don't Forget the Dairy
Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, hard cheese, sour cream -- Calcium and Vitamin D needs are higher for older adults. Make sure you get enough.
Cool, Clear Water
Drinking enough water is key to good health. Fruit juice, seltzer, coffee, tea, milk shakes, and fruit smoothies are great, but don't forget plain water.
Lighter is Better
Eating well means eating smart. Fish, seafood, fowl, and lean meats are good for you. But a little goes a long way. Stir-fry dishes that combine a variety of vegetables with a bit of protein are perfect. Lighter marinara sauces on pasta, or vegetable lasagna, are nutritious and delicious options. Remember that eggs aren't only for breakfast, and that smoked salmon or whitefish are a delicious way to start a day!
Stock Up on Fiber
Every body needs fiber: Choose whole grain breads, eat potatoes with the skins on, learn to love brown rice and a variety of beans. Raw fruits and vegetables are also powerhouse sources of fiber.
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At Eskaton, you gain a full complement of hospitality-style amenities, such as restaurant-style dining, friendly staff and transportation to shopping and appointments. Some communities also feature indoor swimming pools, fitness centers, salons, putting greens and ongoing cultural and recreational activities. For more information or to schedule a tour of one of our Eskaton communities, contact us at 888-684-6554.