Make healthy eating a priority during National Nutrition Month.
Wholesome nutrition is a proven ingredient for leading a healthy and active lifestyle. The foods we put into our body affect energy levels, mood, sleep, and much more. In this National Nutrition Month-inspired guide, we’ll cover some nutrition and healthy eating tips for seniors (and anyone!) to follow, including:
- Eat the rainbow
- Look for important nutrients
- Follow recommended serving sizes
- Indulge in sweets wisely
- Limit or avoid processed foods
- Stay hydrated
- Have breakfast
Discover more about each of these nutrition and healthy eating tips below.
Eat the rainbow
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) suggests eating a diverse diet rich in lean protein, fruit and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Look for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and even purple foods that will make your plate look like a rainbow! Find a selection of delicious dishes featuring colorful foods in these healthy spring recipes or check out the healthy eating tips in this article on how to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Look for important nutrients
Essential nutrients are compounds that your body can’t make enough of on its own, so you want them to be included in the food you consume. Potassium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, minerals, and dietary fibers are just some of the nutrients that are especially vital for older adults. Monitoring your intake of these and other essential nutrients is another healthy eating tip that can help you meet your nutrition needs, maintain energy levels, and stave off some health complications. Find more recommendations on which nutrients to include in your diet on the American Heart Association site.
Follow recommended serving sizes
The amount of food on your plate is often as important as what is on your plate to keep you healthy. Follow the recommended serving sizes for your age group, as they can change over time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate website can also help you round out your diet with nutritious portion sizes and healthy eating tips at every stage of life. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, you should check with your doctor or nutritionist to determine the best portion sizes for your health goals.
Indulge in sweets wisely
If you love a little sweet snack after a meal, experts say go for it! A daily 100- or 200-calorie indulgence can have its place in a healthy diet. As is often the case, moderation is the key. Reducing fat and sugar may help lower the risk of developing heart disease and obesity, while also helping your body retain the nutrients from the healthy foods you’re eating.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Here are some healthy dessert recipe substitutes that are just as tasty and mouthwatering as your favorites!
Limit or avoid processed foods
While processed foods may seem convenient, they can often contain additional salt, sugar, and other ingredients that don’t help your body get the nutrients it needs. Limiting these foods – or cutting them out – can help boost energy and immunity, improve sleep, promote brain health, enhance muscle tone, stabilize blood sugar, and slow down the aging process.
Here are a few easy ways to reduce processed foods in your diet:
- Swap your morning bowl of cereal with a homemade smoothie or steel-cut oats
- Instead of going for the flavored coffee creamers, consider using a splash of whole or plant-based milk with a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Eat an orange or grapefruit instead of drinking the juice form
- Top your salad with lemon juice and olive oil instead of store-bought dressing
- Snack on fresh fruit, nuts, veggie slices, hardboiled eggs, or seasoned chickpeas instead of pre-packaged chips, cookies, and snack bars
- Try prepping and freezing your own meals instead of buying freezer meals at the grocery store
More than 60% of the human body is made of water, making the amount of H20 you drink important for healthy nutrition as well. Healthy hydration is especially critical for seniors because the body begins to conserve less water with age. Follow these helpful tips on our blog to ensure you stay hydrated and healthy.
The “most important meal of the day” is essential because it helps kickstart your metabolism and provide the necessary fuel to get your body through the day. For those struggling to make time for breakfast, we recommend these grab-and-go breakfast ideas that pack healthy nutrition into each bite.
These nutrition and healthy eating tips for seniors (and anyone!) can help you feel your best. As always, be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist before making any drastic dietary changes.
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