Eating right is important at any age, maybe even more so as we get older. Eating right will keep you feeling good, sharpen your mind, help you live longer, and stay strong. A healthy diet is one that:
- Emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk products.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
- Balance calorie intake with caloric needs.
- Low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar.
The importance of fruits and vegetables in your diet is key to good health:
- Studies have found that fruit and vegetable intake promotes a longer life span and lowers the risk of several chronic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
- Fruits and vegetables are also vitally important for the amount of fiber they contain. Also, we need to consume foods rich in fiber for regularity, since constipation may be a problem as we get older.
- Diets containing fiber-rich foods may reduce your risk of heart disease. Women over 50 should aim to eat at least 21 grams of fiber per day, men over 50 at least 30 grams a day.
- Aim for 2-3 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Eating whole grains provides important health benefits:
- Many whole grains are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. Most refined grains contain little fiber.
- Dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Dietary fiber can make you feel full, so you may eat fewer calories. Including whole grains in your diet plan may help you reach or manage a healthy weight.
- Grains are also important sources of many nutrients, such as B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.
Calcium rich foods are very important for the body:
- Build and strengthen bones, to help ward off osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Helps circulate blood, move muscles, and release hormones.
- Prevent the body from taking the calcium in our bones to use in the body for other functions.
Proteins are needed to build up the body:
- They help repair and build tissues.
- Proteins build up the bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
- About half the dietary protein that you consume each day goes into making enzymes, which aids in digesting food, and making new cells and chemicals in the body.
Water and proper hydration:
- Sense of thirst may diminish as we age.
- Sip water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.
- Hydration is vital because it keeps electrolytes balanced, blood volume normal, aids in digestion, transportation of nutrients, and kidney functioning.
Always remember the significance of your diet and your health. What you consume will help you feel better, fuel you right, and give you the nutrients you need. And remember to have fun with your food; add new spices, make it a social experience, try new things within your comfort zone. And never get upset to have a “cheat day”. Get back on track the next day, and enjoy the foods you are able to eat! Your body will thank you for it!
Stay Happy, Healthy, & Confident Always!