Eating Well, Aging Well
Healthy aging means paying closer attention to your diet. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can boost immunity, fight illness-causing toxins, keep you from gaining excess weight, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, and cancer. When combined with regular physical activity, a balanced diet can also contribute to enhanced independence as you age.
At Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, we’re dedicated to helping each of our clients develop and maintain a healthy diet that’s tailored to their specific health needs.
How can nutrition help me stay healthy as I age?
Aging is linked to a variety of changes including nutrient deficiencies and decreased quality of life. Older adults need fewer calories—but their nutrient needs are the same as (if not higher) than they were when they were younger. For this reason, it is important to eat nutrient-rich, whole foods every day. Here is a list of nutritional changes that can help you prevent deficiencies and other age-related changes:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Our bodies are essentially made of water, so it’s important to have enough. With age, your sense of thirst lessens, but if you’re not drinking enough water you may feel fatigued or sluggish. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat foods with high water content to avoid dehydration.
- Increase your fiber intake
Constipation becomes more common as we age as our digestive system naturally slows down. Eating foods rich in fiber helps move food through the digestive tract more efficiently.
- Choose more nutrient-rich foods
Though older adults require fewer calories they need just as many, if not more, nutrients as everyone else. Choose nutrient-dense foods like dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats.
- Eat more cold water fish
Omega-3s can help keep your brain healthy as you age. Try adding foods like salmon, tuna, trout, flaxseed and walnuts to your diet to support healthy brain function.
- Consider supplements
Supplements can help you get your daily dose of B12,vitamin D and calcium. These three powerhouses help digestion and prevent bone loss—two things that we all need help with as we age.
At Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, our senior rehabilitation services will guide you on how to eat a nutritional, well-balanced diet and stay healthy as you grow older. Our certified dietary managers will develop a tailored plan to help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life.