What we eat can have a big impact both physically and mentally. Getting a balanced diet is something we should think about at any stage of our life, ensuring we get all the nutrients we need while still eating food that we enjoy. This often becomes more important as we age.
Why is nutrition so important for seniors?
On one side, our metabolisms become slower so we can no longer eat unhealthily without gaining weight and facing health risks. This often means cutting back on foods that are particularly high in sugar and saturated fats, as well as decreasing overall calories. Without this, you’ll be at greater risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
On the other hand, a decrease in appetite and no longer being able to eat as much can leave us lacking in nutrients, which can put us more at risk of becoming ill and suffering from problems like anemia and osteoporosis. We need fewer calories to sustain us in our senior years, so eating too many “empty-calorie” foods is no longer an option. Instead, nutrient-dense foods are essential for senior diets.
Let’s look at some key types of nutrient-dense foods that can help to boost your nutrition in your senior years.
Fruit and veg
Fruit and vegetables are generally low-calorie and are packed with nutrients that support your health. You should get a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. A colorful plate is often a sign of a healthy, varied meal, so shop for fruit and veg in a wide variety of colors. And if you think you’re not a fan of vegetables, then try some different, tasty ways of preparing and seasoning them.
Whole wheat products, brown rice, oats, and quinoa are a few examples of whole grains you can include in your diet. Whole grains are high in fiber, which helps to aid digestion. They also contain protein plus lots of different vitamins and minerals to support your health, including B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Protein is important in everyone’s diet, but becomes even more essential in our senior years. This is because it helps to prevent loss of muscle mass, it repairs our tissues, and contributes to our health in a number of other ways. If you eat meat, then lean meats are a great source of protein because they’re lower in fat and calories compared to other types of meat. If you’re not a meat-eater, then here are some of the best foods for getting enough protein in your diet.
We provide our residents with balanced, nutritious meals to ensure that all their needs are met. If you or a loved one requires senior care, then contact Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff to find out more about our assisted living services.