A healthy diet is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your overall health and as we age, our nutritional needs change a bit. Slower metabolisms and less active bodies need fewer calories but the same amount of nutrients (if not more). Understanding which foods provide the right nutrition and which are mostly “empty” calories is important. In addition, many foods have natural disease-fighting qualities that become more important as we get older.
If you have long-term health goals like having an independent lifestyle doing the activities that you love, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, or achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious food can help.
Avoid Empty Calories
Most of us like to indulge in junk food now and then. A steady diet of potato chips, fast food, sugary drinks, and dessert, however, make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and will not give you the sustained energy you need to be active. You can still enjoy these things in moderation, but they should not make up the bulk of your diet.
Seniors who are able to maintain a healthy weight have fewer mobility issues as they age. Excess weight puts stress on your joints, which can make movement painful, and physical activity can become more difficult. Being overweight also raises your risk of certain health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Eat the Rainbow
Nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy diet. Choosing from a variety of foods that match the colors of the rainbow – strawberries and apples, carrots and citrus, yellow peppers and squash, leafy greens like kale and broccoli, blueberries, and eggplant or purple potatoes – can be an easy way to make sure you’re incorporating the right type of food for your nutritional needs.
Focus on Minimally Processed Foods
Processed foods often have added sugar, fat, salt, preservatives, or other chemicals that have been shown to increase inflammation and contribute to weight gain. As often as possible, choose minimally processed foods such as:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice
- Unsalted nuts
- Lean meats, seafood, and poultry
Assisted Living Can Help With Your Long-Term Health Goals
Assisted living communities can improve your quality of life as well as extend your life. As you read above, healthy eating is vital to healthy aging, and The Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living makes healthy eating easy with three, nutritious, chef-prepared meals served daily for our residents in both assisted living and memory care.
In addition, at the Mission at Agua Fria, we believe that active residents are healthy and happy residents. You’ll be able to engage in cultural and recreational programs, social events, and outings with friends, which means you can continue to live the active lifestyle you want, even if you need a little assistance from time to time.
Make an appointment today to come tour our community. We would love the chance to show you our wide range of services and amenities that can help you achieve your long-term health goals.