Healthy eating always matters. It matters at every age limit but it becomes more important in midlife or after midlife. Whereas eating well keeps your body healthy, it also shapes your body and you look much smarter. A healthy diet keeps you emotionally balanced. Healthy food does not mean that you go on dieting or you start sacrificing food. A healthy diet plan with growing age is the most important factor to maintain your health as is discussed in this article.
Healthy eating means eating in the company of family and friends and enjoying fresh and tasty food with wholesome ingredients.
It does not matter what were your previous eating habits. There is always space to improve your eating habits as you think better for yourself.
benefits of a healthy diet in growing age
Healthy diet plan with growing age can help you in many ways as follows.
Longer and Stronger Life
A healthy diet always leads to healthier and stronger immunity. A healthy diet reduces the risk of heart diseases, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone weakness, and cancers. If a healthy diet and physical activity go side by side, both can contribute to enhanced independence with aging.
a healthy diet with growing age Sharpens your mind
Fruit, vegetables, fish, and nuts with omega-3 fatty acids help to improve your focus. These also decrease the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s. The use of green tea (antioxidant) also helps in memory increase and mental alertness as you get older.
a healthy diet boosts your mood
Having a healthy body makes you feel happier inside and outside. You get more energy from a wholesome diet and look better that ultimately resulting in a happy mood and increased self-esteem. So, a healthy diet boosts your mood and you start feeling better.
Increased Pleasure of Eating by sharing with friends
A healthy diet does not mean only that you take quality and variety of diet, but it also means increasing the pleasure of eating by sharing it with friends and family. Sharing your meal with friends and family is like adding vitamins to your diet.
The participation of your friends and family at your meals always increases the pleasure of eating, stimulates your mind, and most importantly it helps you to stick to your healthy diet plan.
Some life routine changes with growing age
Little few changes in routine life can make your healthy meals more enjoyable even if you live alone. These changes can be:
Shopping With Friends
Going out with friends and shopping with them keeps you healthy and strong. On your shopping trip, you can enjoy the meals with your friends, you can share new meal plans, and also can avail of discount offers like buy one get one free.
Cooking with Friends
If you are living alone, you can invite a friend for sharing cooking responsibilities. One friend can prepare the entrée while the other can prepare dessert. Thus you can share your cooking responsibilities, also it will provide both of you the fun moments and will result in a stronger relationship. Also, it will prove less costly for both of you.
inviting a friend to a meal
If you invite a friend or your loved ones to a meal, it will prove mood-boosting for you. Being social always provides you more chances of enjoying nutritious and healthy meals.
How to Find a Healthy Diet?
The basic formula for healthy food is to look for minimally processed food as per your aging requirement. Always opt the foods which are close to natural foods. The response of our bodies is always different to different foods due to differences in genetics and health factors.
A healthy diet plan that can work better for you, requires some experimentation. Following tips can be adopted regarding this.
Inclusion of more foods and vegetables in the diet
A variety of fruit should be included in your plan like, apples, bananas, berries, melons, etc., Also try 2 to 3 servings of fruit in a day.
Select antioxidant-rich, leafy greens vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli along with colorful vegetables like carrots and squash in your plan. To increase your appetite for vegetables you may drizzle some olive oil on them, sprinkle some goat cheese or add some garlic or chilies while frying them. Initially try 2 to 3 cups a day
Inclusion of Calcium
Calcium must be part of your diet plan to strengthen the bones. The calcium intake will prevent you from different bone problems and bone fractures. Milk, yogurt, cheese, almonds, and kale are rich in calcium and good sources of calcium.
Inclusion of Healthy Fat
Instead of eliminating all kinds of fat, you should include healthy fat in your diet plan. Omega-3 is a good source of healthy fat as it strengthens your immunity and improves brain functioning.
Include a variety of protein sources
High-quality protein intake with aging always helps in increasing the resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression. However, you should avoid eating too much protein from processed meat products. It may lead to heart diseases, hypertension, or other health issues.
You should try a variety of protein sources like fish, eggs, beans, peas, and nuts and never stick with only one source like red meat.
The inclusion of fiber in your diet plan will reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Also, fiber intake will help you in weight reduction and your skin health will also be improved. Fiber is also important for the improvement of the digestive system, as, with age, digestion becomes less efficient.
The recommended quantity of fiber is 30 grams a day for men over 50 while 21 grams a day for women over 50. The worrying thing is that most of us don’t intake even half of this recommendation.
Choose Carbs Carefully
Avoid processed white flour and select whole grains for more nutrients and fiber. Sugar and refined carbs should be eliminated. Mostly aged people intake unhealthy amounts of sugar and refined carbs.
These refined carbs like white rice, white flour, or white sugar can rapidly increase the level of blood sugar resulting in a crash leaving you feeling hungry and prone to overeating.
Important Minerals and Vitamins
A healthy amount of water should be taken daily to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and confusion. As you grow older, your sense of thirst weakens and you may prone to dehydration.
The use of fortified foods or recommended vitamin supplements can fulfill the deficiency of vitamin B which occurs after the age of 50. Vitamin B intake will help you to improve the efficiency of your digestive system.
People above 50 with less exposure to the sun, usually have a deficiency of vitamin D. To overcome it, they need to talk to a doctor who can suggest them fortified foods or multivitamins to help the purpose.
Adjust with Life Stages
Every life stage results in changes and adjustments to your body. Understanding changes in the body will help you in controlling your nutritional and dietary needs.
Over the age of 40, almost every year our metabolism slows, and most of us become less physically active. Therefore, it is essential to adopt healthy eating habits along with exercising daily. It will also help you in maintaining a healthy weight.
With growing age, our sense of salty and bitter tastes decreases. This may result in the use of excessive salt intake. In fact, at an older age, you need less salt than younger adults. Instead of salt, the use of herbs, and healthy oils like olive oil is recommended in old age.
With growing age, you need to understand malnutrition. Malnutrition is a critical health issue. It may be caused by eating too little food, too few nutrients, and digestive problems related to growing age.
Malnutrition leads to fatigue, depression, weak immune system, anemia, weakness, and digestive, lung, and heart problems.
Malnutrition can be overcome by adopting the following steps.
- Search for nutrient-packed food, eat flavorful food available, snack between meals, and eat with the company as much as possible.
How do overcome obstacles while eating at an older age?
A lot of people face obstacles while eating at an older age. If you are facing problems while following your diet plan, here are some tips that can help you to overcome these obstacles.
Boost Your Appetite
If you feel that due to some medication you have lost your appetite, then you need to talk to your doctor. Maybe a change of medication or dosage can help the matter. For boosting the appetite, you can add flavor enhancers like olive oil, butter, vinegar, garlic, onions, ginger, and spices.
Solve the Chewing Difficulty
- To overcome chewing problems in older age you can use smoothies made with fresh fruit, yogurt, and protein powder.
- Include steamed veggies and soft food such as couscous, rice, and yogurt in your diet plan.
- Plan a visit to your dentist for a check-up of your dentures.
- To reduce mouth dryness drink 8–10 glasses of water daily.
- For softening the food take a drink of water after each bite.
- To moisten your food, add sauces and salsas to the food.
- Don’t use commercial mouthwash.
- You may talk to your doctor about using artificial saliva products.
But what if you are not accustomed to healthy food?
It may be very difficult if you are not habitual with healthy food. In fact, none of us is born with a craving for unhealthy foods, it is a habit that develops over time. The more we are exposed to such habits, the more it is difficult to overcome these. However, it is not impossible. You can train your brain over time for healthy food cravings.
First of all, tell your mind that every healthy food isn’t bad in taste.
You don’t need to change your diet plan at once. You can add healthy foods one by one to your diet plan and cut unhealthy foods one by one from your diet plan. For example, you can add a side salad to your routine dinner, you can replace unhealthy fries with baked sweet potato fries, or reduce the quantity of dessert intake and fill up the deficiency with melon and pineapple slices.
Always focus on the changes you feel after eating healthy food. This focus will help you on adapting new tastes and foods. You will always feel better after having healthy foods.
Difficult to Continue One Diet Plan
Eating the same food, again and again, is always boring. One can’t stay on one diet plan for a longer period. For this, you may browse for different options or diet plans.
One can go through a cooking magazine and can select different healthy diet plans for different periods. You can try other healthy foods and spices that you have not tried before.
Also, you can chat with your friends, colleagues, or family members regarding healthy plans and come up with some interesting and new healthy diet ideas.
So a healthy diet plan with growing age might keep you away from many problems of the age.