Your golden years are the start of a new adventure–with your working life behind you and your family fully independent, you’re free to focus on other things. You now have the time to explore new interests, renew old hobbies and activities, or just relax as needed. You can make new friends, reconnect with your community, and enjoy time with your spouse. In the midst of all this new freedom, however, a few things remain consistent. Among these are diet and exercise–two keys to health at any age. Eating right in your golden years will help you to get the most out of this period of your life, and provide you with the health and energy you need to fully enjoy it.
So what goes into a good diet for seniors? First and foremost: consult your doctor. They know you and your particular medical/health situation and can give you personalized advice based on that knowledge. With that having been said, there are some general guidelines that work for most people of a certain age who want to eat healthily and get the most out of life:
- First, recognize that you likely need fewer calories but more nutrition as you age. Your body is simply using less energy for various reasons, so raw caloric intake is less important than the quality of nutrition you receive. Using this simple guideline can help you plan meals more effectively.
- Avoid starches, carbohydrates, and processed sugars. Again, your body is using less energy and needs less of these raw fuels. Too much of any of them can set you down the road to diabetes, which is something to avoid!
- Vegetables and fruits are your friends! While this is true at any stage of life, it’s especially true for seniors who need better nutrition and thus benefit from nutrient-dense foods. Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all tasty foods that provide large amounts of vitamins and minerals per serving.
- Speaking of vitamins and minerals: dietary supplements are a huge help for many seniors. Taking extra vitamins and other nutrients in supplement form every day may be just the thing to improve and enhance your health in your golden years. Ask your doctor what is best for you, but a multivitamin and some B and D vitamin supplements work well for most people. Vitamin K has been shown to help cognitive health, so a daily dose of that may help keep your brain active.
- Another vital nutrient for both brain and cardiovascular health is Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Found in many fish and some leafy greens, they are also available in supplement form. They support a variety of functions related to a healthy brain and heart and can be beneficial to many seniors.
- Lean proteins, like chicken and fish, are best for most people moving into this stage of their lives. They provide the support you need for muscle growth while also supporting your heart and circulation.
While you should always consult your doctor in order to get the best medical advice for you, we hope these tips help you find ways to eat healthy as you enjoy your senior years. Folks of this age can be just as healthy and active as ever, and the right diet and exercise plan can support that!