Healthy eating is important all throughout our lives, but once we hit the big five-o a healthy balanced diet becomes even more important. For adults over 50 there are many benefits to healthy eating including: an increased mental acuteness, higher energy levels and most importantly a resistance to illness and disease.
As we get older are bodies go through more changes, our metabolism slows and our taste and smell senses diminish. Because of this many people might try and over compensate by adding more flavours like salt to their food or by eating smaller portions. Older people may also be less likely to experiment and try new things.
Rest assured though healthy eating doesn’t have to be about just dieting and sacrifice and no matter what age you are you can always enjoy experimenting with new foods. Our tips below will outline the foods you should focus on as you get older, and look at how you should go about planning your meals.
Food for The Body As You Age
Fruits & Vegetables
Yes you need to eat fruit and vegetables whatever your age is, but as you get older they are even more important. Fruits are rich in fibre and vitamins and vegetables are great for antioxidants which can help prevent cell damage.
You should go for whole fruits like oranges and apples rather than fruit juices for a higher vitamin and fibre content. Vegetables should be chosen on colour and you should try things like: kale, spinach, broccoli and also orange vegetables like carrots and yams.
Older adults need 6/7 ounces of grain a day. Although make sure you don’t overdo it, as grains are high in carbs. Look for whole grain foods rather than processed ones.
Foods high in calcium are important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. While milk is usually the go-to drink for calcium there’s plenty of other options available like: yogurts, cheese, broccoli and almonds.
As we get older we become more prone to dehydration and our sense of thirst may not be as sharp. People over 50 should try to take a sip of water every hour and try to drink it with meals.
Creating the Perfect Balanced Diet
No matter what age we are having a balanced diet is very important, especially as we get older. Creating a balanced diet is something many people struggle with but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Our tips below will help you create those perfectly balanced meals.
Foods high in fibre and protein are your best options, yogurts for the extra calcium boost are also a good choice. You should experiment daily and try not to have the same meal every day. Try fruits and berries one day and then whole grain toast the next.
Whole grain breads are popular for sandwiches especially if you’re working and have to grab your dinner in your lunch hour. Salads and soups are also popular choices, vegetarian foods like soy and tofu are also great for extra protein.
Warm salads and baked potatoes are popular choices for evening meals, meat dishes are also an option but you should try to cut down on red meats and definitely not have them every day. Fish, cheese and whole-wheat pasta are also popular choices.
Don’t skip meals if you can help it. As we get older our metabolism slows down and skipping meals makes it slow down even more. Snacks are fine (although don’t over indulge) you should try to choose high fibre snacks when possible like almonds and raisins.
Try to have your “five a day” fruit and vegetables and don’t be afraid to indulge your sweet tooth every once in a while. If you feel like a chocolate bar one day or a cheese burger then feel free to indulge. But make sure it doesn’t become a habit – it should be a treat not the norm.