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2023-08-22 22:01:02

The Ideal Diet for Seniors

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The food , we eat the meals , we enjoy the friends we enjoy it with , brings us much delight .

I think we all know that we should eat more whole foods , veggies and fruit and limit sugar , salt and processed foods that come in a box or from a fast food establishment .

I think we also can agree that it's often easier said than done , but it is so important to give some consideration to our current eating habits and see where we might make some upgrades .

Our lifestyle is the main driver of our health .

What we choose to eat will determine the quality of our years .

It's important that we enjoy what we eat .

We know that kale is a nutrient dense veggie powerhouse .

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But if you don't like the way it tastes , they , that may not inspire you to eat more of it , what you choose and enjoy eating is highly personal .

So let's discuss some things that can influence all of us to make better choices , to support healthy aging .

If you have a specific health condition or concern , please be sure to consult and follow the recommendations of your health care provider as often as possible .

Eat real whole plant based foods such as fresh vegetables , fruit and whole grains .

These are living foods that won't live for weeks or months in your refrigerator or food pantry .

The life in food gives you life .

They provide building blocks for structure and function .

They're anti inflammatory and promote longevity .

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Eat lots of different colors to obtain a wide range of antioxidants and for more brain power load up on leafy greens like spring mixed lettuce spinach and yes , Kale , a 2017 Rush University study of 1000 older adults found that when they ate just one cup of leafy greens per day , their cognitive health was 11 years younger than those who did not eat one cup of leafy greens per day .

I joke about the kale just because it's the veggie people love to bash on .

But the point is make an effort to enjoy at least one cup of leafy greens every day .

The second tip enjoy a small amount of healthy fats with each meal .

The food industry made fat a bad word .

But we need healthy fats for optimal aging .

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Healthy fats include avocados , olives , nuts and seeds and cold pressed unprocessed oils .

They support optimal physical and cognitive function , improve cell membrane flexibility and transport and absorb fat soluble vitamins .

Did you know your brain is 60% fat gives new meaning to the term fat head ?

But in all seriousness , consuming healthy fats is vital for the structural and functional role in neurons .

You don't need a lot , but you do need a little with each meal .

Try an avocado on your sandwich or salad , add some seeds or nuts to your oatmeal .

We like sauteing , sliced almonds with frozen French , cut green beans .

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In addition to small amounts of healthy fats , it's important to consume protein with each meal or snack .

Protein is the main component of the body .

Your cells hormones , neurotransmitters , enzymes and immune system protein helps to regain and maintain muscle and strength .

Along with working out with me and the Silver Sneakers team fish , chicken , beef and pork tend to be what comes to mind .

When we think of protein , you can also get protein from lots of plant based foods such as beans and lentils .

And uh of course , I could never leave out tofu , especially sauteed with chopped kale quinoa is an awesome grain .

It's packed with protein .

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And did you know that vegetables such as broccoli , spinach and potatoes contain some protein if you can tolerate dairy , that can be a source of protein also .

So include protein with each meal or snack .

The next tip for healthy aging drink water , water is essential for our bodies and brain health .

Our joint cartilage is roughly 75% water .

So drink some water before you exercise , make sure you're well hydrated to help reduce joint pain .

Water is also essential for cell structure and function , metabolic health , energy , muscle performance and brain power .

People who are well hydrated every day have improved cognition and memory .

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They have fewer falls , less constipation , reduced orthostatic hypertension and improved rehabilitation outcomes .

You can ask your health care provider how much water they recommend you drink daily ?

In general ?

Five or more eight ounce glasses of water is a good recommendation .

And one more tip that in my opinion is a powerhouse to optimal aging that often gets overlooked .

Add spices to your foods , spices do more than just add flavor .

Many spices are antioxidants , such spices as curcumin are beneficial for cognitive health .

Adding black pepper boosts the body's efficiency to absorb the nutrients .

Cinnamon can assist in lowering blood glucose .

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Other spices such as cardamom , oregano , thyme .

Mm I love time .

Rosemary sage turmeric and more are very beneficial to our health and makes food taste great too .

You can google specific spices for more information .

Just remember a little goes a long way .

So don't overdo it if you'd like more guidance for healthier eating habits , talk to your health care provider about the Mediterranean diet .

This is one of the best studied eating patterns and is ideal for healthy aging .

People who follow this style of eating have been seen to have a 50% reduction of all cause mortality , including reduced heart disease , neuro degenerative conditions and cancer and numerous other health benefits such as slowing lower body functional decline .

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Another resource for healthy eating motivation and guidance is silver sneakers dot com .

Our on demand library contains several videos on nutrition and our website highlights great articles written by nutrition experts , happy eating .

And let's add more great years to our life .


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