Staying Healthy as You Age: One Bite at a Time
The aging process gets something of a bad rap. Yes, it can certainly be challenging in various ways, but you can still pursue a rich and rewarding lifestyle. The key is to adopt behavior and attitudes that empower you to remain active and healthy. Your diet is a significant tool here.
This isn’t about limiting your consumption of delicious and traditionally “bad” foods. You’re not going to age positively if you’re constantly depriving yourself of treats. Rather, you need to be more mindful about how your food and drink intake impacts various areas of your wellbeing. This knowledge allows you to make plans and move forward in the most holistically positive way.
We’re going to explore some of the ways staying healthy as you age, one bite at a time.
The first thing you need to remember about nutrition as you age is to be intentional in your approach. People often make the mistake of hopping on-board popular diet plans. It’s also common to adopt sporadic measures that are believed to make general improvements. However, this haphazard and unstructured approach is less likely to be effective or sustainable.
So, you need to establish some goals. Confirm for yourself the specific aspects of your health you want to improve as you age or what elements you’re finding particularly challenging. This could be surrounding increasing your vitamin intake to address areas of deficiency. It may involve focusing on oily foods to help you manage the onset of joint pain. Sometimes it’s wise to write out these goals so you can better research and adapt to them.
Remember, you don’t need to change everything all at one time. This kind of abrupt alteration to your behavior can be disruptive to your wellbeing, and you may be less likely to stay the course. You can still improve your health by methodically implementing small lifestyle changes. Make a couple of healthy food additions or substitutions to your usual meals. Eat on smaller plates if you’re trying to reduce your consumption. You can always build up to the bigger alterations in your nutrition as you move toward your goals.
Eat for Physical Health
Usually, when people consider nutrition for physical health it surrounds losing weight or gaining mass. But as you age, what you eat and drink can impact more targeted elements of day-to-day physical health. Lean proteins like seafood, eggs, and beans can be useful for strengthening bones and muscles. High-fiber whole-grain foods such as brown rice and whole-wheat pasta can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
However, it’s also important to consider how food affects the physical health changes you may be experiencing. One of the common challenges, as you age, is the natural loss of hormones. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) isn’t the right solution for everyone, but there are alternative options. Your nutritional choices can help you handle symptoms like bone loss due to calcium deficiency, low energy, and hot flashes. Whole foods featuring a good balance of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein can be key here.
Another physical feature of aging can be diminished eyesight. Again, this is perfectly natural, but there are nutritional tools you can use to impact vision challenges. Consider the appearance of the fruit and vegetables you incorporate into your diet. Brightly colored fruits are good antioxidants that can minimize the impact of the free radicals contributing to sight loss. Yellow and orange vegetables are also high in vitamin-A, which is required for healthy vision. Hence, the old tale of carrots helping you to see in the dark.
Consider Your Cognitive Wellness
It is not just your physical wellbeing that is likely to change as you get older. Indeed, many people are concerned about how their thought processes, memory retention, and mental health might shift as they age. This is understandable, as our minds are a significant part of what makes us who we are and we don’t want to lose this. Your nutritional choices are a good way to manage this.
There have been various studies surrounding cognition in the aging process, with diet generally being agreed as a positive influencing factor. Avocados, berries, and extra-virgin olive oil have been connected to delaying cognitive decline. The quality of the food you eat here is considered important, too. It’s just as important you obtain these foods as freshly as possible and from providers that don’t utilize a lot of harmful chemicals.
There are also some foods considered to have a neuroprotective effect. Leafy green vegetables tend to be particularly effective in this regard. Nuts, poultry, seafood, and wine are also components of a brain-healthy diet. This doesn’t have to be at the expense of fatty or sweet foods, either. These foods, combined with balanced amounts of red meats, butter, and pastries can have a positive effect against the onset of dementia.
Aging can be a challenging experience, but your nutritional intake can make a big difference. This doesn’t mean you have to make huge changes to the way you live your life. A steady and methodical approach tends to be best. Introduce fruits to improve your health and vegetables that keep your cognitive functions effective. Incorporating some tasty and natural elements into your diet one bite at a time can help ensure you can be active and well as you get older.