Diet tips for maintaining health as you age

3 mins read
Diet decision concept and nutrition choices dilemma between healthy good fresh fruit and vegetables or greasy cholesterol rich fast food with a man on a crossroad trying to decide what to eat for the best lifestyle choice.
Diet decision concept and nutrition choices dilemma between healthy good fresh fruit and vegetables or greasy cholesterol rich fast food with a man on a crossroad trying to decide what to eat for the best lifestyle choice. Source: Depositphotos

The key to longevity is to be healthy. That seems obvious, right? And the best ways to be healthy are to live an active lifestyle and maintain a balanced diet. The more you invest in your physical health in your younger years, the longer you can enjoy an independent and prosperous life.

If you are starting to approach the “later years,” you might start to think more and more about how to sustain your health and keep yourself on the move for a longer period of time. As your body ages, certain ailments that are common in seniors may start to crop up and your mobility will naturally start to decrease.

But this doesn’t mean that you cannot lead a healthy lifestyle as you get older. Staying active will go a long way towards that goal, but great eating habits are also a contributing factor. As you approach old age, here are some diet tips to keep in mind that will help you maintain a healthy body.

Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store

Have you ever noticed how most of the balanced and healthier foods tend to be on the outer walls and sections of the grocery store, with more of the processed foods in the middle?

Obviously, this is a generalization and there are plenty of healthy options in the center, but think about the typical layout you encounter. The produce section is usually off to the right as you enter, but always taking up a corner. Meats can be found along the back wall most often, and then dairy products are usually in another corner or along the far wall. These are the kinds of food you need to have a healthy, balanced diet.

As you navigate the store, consider how often you move through the center and if you are getting most of your groceries from the perimeter or the aisles in the middle.

Focus on foods that can fight diseases

As your body starts to decline, your immune system will have to work harder and harder to stay healthy. The best way to set it up for success is to focus on foods that will strengthen your immune system. Many types of products can accomplish this, including spinach, citrus fruits, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.

Boosting your immune system will help your body fight off diseases, which becomes even more important as you age and your ability to defeat infections starts to weaken.

Consider supplements for extra nutrients

Depending on your diet, you may or may not be getting some of the necessary nutrients for sustainable health. Fortunately, there are supplemental options, often in the form of capsules, that you can take to ensure your body is receiving enough of the right elements. Some of these include vitamin D, fish oil, vitamin B12, and probiotics. Supplying your body with these nutrients can improve your chances of long-term health.

As always, water is your best friend

Water is the stuff of life. While it can be hard to keep up with the recommended daily intake, it becomes more important to do so later in life. It helps to flush toxins out of your system, keeps you hydrated, and provides your body with much needed nutrients that are important for its various systems. Drinking lots of water as you age can help you maintain health, and therefore, independence. This will allow you to continue living at home and avoid long-term care facilities, which can come with issues of their own, including nursing home abuse.

Most importantly, consult with your doctor

While these diet tips will work for most, your doctor will know the best eating and drinking habits that will suit your body. Every person is unique, so everyone’s dietary needs may differ. Talk with your doctor about what kind of foods you should focus on to maintain health as you age. Ask them about any supplements that they recommend you take to improve your overall nutrient levels, and don’t be afraid to talk about counting calories. Your body becomes more fragile and sensitive to changes as time goes on, so becoming more particular about what you put into it will be helpful.

Make a diet plan and maintain your independence

After talking with your doctor, you should have a good idea of what kind of habits will lead to a longer and healthier lifestyle. Now you can craft a plan for how to sustain this diet going forward, keeping track of which foods provide the necessary nutrients and will help fight off diseases. It goes without saying that the right diet alone will not guarantee longevity, and that it should always be paired with an active lifestyle. But it is the best place to start and is something that you can directly control.

Invest in your future health by eating right today.

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