Many senior citizens are looking for ways to maintain and improve their health and quality of life. Concentrating on a few healthy diet tips can help seniors feel better and live longer. The proper diet and good lifestyle choices can help seniors increase energy levels, improve mental acuity, combat illness and disease, strengthen the immune system, and recover faster from medical procedures.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
It is important to eat a good healthy breakfast. It helps jump start the metabolism, can help absorb the medications that should be taken with food, helps control blood sugar throughout the day, and can improve mental acuity for the rest of the day. A good breakfast should include protein and fiber. Fruits, whole grain toast, egg or egg substitute, cheese, or fortified juices are good choices, but any balanced breakfast is good start to the day.
Drink Plenty of Water
It can be hard for seniors to drink enough fluids throughout the day. Many seniors are tempted to drink less water in order to avoid the extra trips to the bathroom. Even though those extra trips can be annoying, avoiding frequent urination by not drinking enough can cause mild chronic dehydration with significant negative effects on overall health. Those effects include mental confusion, higher blood pressure, a decline in kidney function, and stress on the heart and other organs. As the body ages the sense of thirst becomes blunted so seniors should drink fluids throughout the day whether they feel thirsty or not. Water consumption is important for the absorption of nutrients and medication, proper organ function, regulation of body temperature, cell regeneration, and mental sharpness.
Eat Several Small Meals a Day
As the body ages and metabolism slows down most seniors need fewer calories for their daily activities. Eating a large meal and using fewer calories makes it more likely for part of a large meal to be stored as fat. Eating several small meals not only helps avoid overeating, but also helps maintain a more constant blood sugar level and keeps the metabolism at a more steady level throughout the day.
Consume Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Seniors experience changes in digestion, stomach acid composition, and saliva production that affect how the body processes vitamins and minerals. It is important for seniors to consume adequate calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health and strength. Absorption of B6, B12, and folic acid, can also be affected as the body ages. B vitamins are essential for a good circulation, sharp memory, and mental acuity. Seniors should check with their doctors about taking a multivitamin or other vitamin supplements to improve health. Vitamin supplements can be particularly important for seniors who struggle with eating a balanced diet naturally rich in nutrients or for seniors on certain medications. You should consult with your doctor about how, when, and with what medication you can safely take any nutritional supplement.
Exercise and Weight Training
As the body ages and the metabolism slows down, it can harder to exercise and easier to gain weight. Seniors, however, who maintain even an easy exercise routine can improve circulation and metabolism, which leads to greater overall health. Exercising with light weights can provide enormous benefits including better weight management, increased bone strength, improved mobility and flexibility, decrease high blood pressure symptoms, increased muscle mass, and improved balance. Even seniors with mobility or pain issues can benefit from an exercise program in the form of hand weights or water therapy.
These daily tips can help seniors improve their diet and overall health. The benefits from making these simple changes include better circulation, increased metabolism, increased strength and flexibility, improved immune response, and increased energy levels.