Eating right and having a balanced diet is the first step towards a healthy life. People of all age groups need to eat foods that are full of nutrition.
As people age, the nutrition level in their body falls. With age, the body goes through several changes, and it is critical to cope with them to stay fit. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, eating at least one nutritious meal in a day is a real struggle.
For seniors, numerous factors result in the low intake of nutrition, like living alone, losing an income source, inability to buy adequate food for themselves, facing trouble getting around, not cooking, anxiety, depression, and more. As a result of which, they face several health issues.
Senior Living Communities Provide Healthy Living Conditions For the Elderly
Numerous senior living communities do a great job of promoting healthy living conditions for seniors. They offer much more beyond just a place to stay for older people. Oakleigh is one such senior living community that looks after all the needs of their senior residents. We have a RENEW motto, where we wish to renew seniors’ lives with our therapeutic program’s help.
RENEW is an acronym for Rehabilitation, Education, Nutrition, Enrichment, and Wellness. The program aims to enrich seniors’ lifestyles by combining traditional therapies with practical approaches for day-to-day living. With this program, our coaches support individuals to help them achieve great potential benefits.
Healthy eating tips for seniors will help them ensure overall good health. Oakleigh understands that people’s metabolism slows down as they age. So we make it a point to boost general well-being over time. We present a few tips on enhancing senior nutrition below:
Eating A Variety of Meals
By consuming a variety of foods, older adults get all the required nutrients. As per the National Council on Aging, a healthy meal should comprise proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, etc. By having all of these at least once daily, seniors will get all the nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy.
Consuming Liquids As Much As Possible
Over time, the sense of thirst lessens in people. However, the U.S Department of Agriculture’s healthy eating initiative suggests that older people should drink plenty of water during the day, even if they do not feel thirsty. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated all day long. Besides water, you can also drink fat-free milk and fruit juice.
Minimizing The Consumption of Table Salt
With age, the sense of taste declines too. Seniors may want to season their meals with extra salt so that its flavor increases and they can enjoy their dishes. Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and ultimately increase heart and kidney diseases. When consuming meals, make sure not to consume more than 2,300 mg of salt in a day.
Plan meals for the entire week at once. Once you have planned the week’s meals, you are less likely to go out and eat. By planning what to have during the day and for dinners, seniors can balance their diet and, at the same time, ensure they get enough nutrients.
Reading Nutrition Labels
When buying canned and packaged food items, checking labels before purchasing is a good thing to do. Doing so helps you plan your nutrition intake. Even if the company advertises it as a healthy meal choice, chances are it has high quantities of sodium, fat, and sugar. You will not know this until you check the labels of food items.
Season With Herbs And A Few Spices
Instead of seasoning meals with extra sodium, choose to season them with spices and herbs. It enhances the flavor of food and ensures that you are not intaking something that is not good for your health. You can use basil, cayenne pepper, rosemary, sage, or so many more. These are just a few healthy choices that are good alternatives to sodium. The best part? These herbs contain a variety of flavors.
Reduce Sugar Consumption
Refined sugar has numerous calories, and it doesn’t offer any nutritional value. You should look forward to reducing sugary treats in your diet and consider including whole food items that are naturally sweet. A few include yams, fruits, and sweet peppers.
Consider Intaking Supplements
Including fruits and vegetables in your daily meals is one of the best ways of getting the necessary nutrients. However, sometimes this alone is not enough.
You can also consult a physician about vitamin and mineral supplements that are safe for you. The physicians will suggest a balanced diet, depending on your age and active health conditions. This way, you will get an adequate amount of nutrients required for overall health.
Healthy Fats Are Good
Cutting fats entirely from meals is not recommended. Instead, look forward to eliminating trans and saturated fats. Healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats help protect our bodies from various diseases. They also promote a good mood and overall well-being. Avocado, olive oil, fish, and nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are a few excellent choices that should be present in your daily diet.
Encourage Physical Activity
Simple exercises that seniors can easily do will help them in numerous ways. For instance, arms and leg exercises help increase appetite. If possible, go on short walks with your dog every evening. You can also participate in activities held at local senior centers. Do activities that will help you to get your body moving. Even something as simple as stitching clothes is better than sitting idle. Physical exercises increase thirst and appetite, making it easier for seniors to eat nutritious meals and drink plenty of water.
Adequate nutrition is the key to keep seniors healthy. However, their diet often lacks essential nutrients because of various reasons. Oakleigh supports a healthy daily diet for seniors and offers services such as weekly meal planning. We also provide numerous recreational activities for seniors to help them live their life with a RENEWed spirit.