As we enter the golden era for senior citizens more and more are relying on dietary changes to improve their well-being. At SeniorTV we have seen the wonders of a good diet first hand, as many of our 65+ year old employees have benefited from improving their diet. For those who are looking to change, make it gradual and make sure to still enjoy some of the foods that you like. Here are 5 diet tips for seniors to help prevent disease and improve your quality of life as you get older.
Avoid Too Much Sodium
A common symptom that will affect most everyone as they age is high blood pressure. The most effective dietary change that will improve your blood pressure level is a decrease in salt. Your body requires a certain amount of sodium to stay healthy, but at high levels it can cause health problems.
Salt may be hidden in your usual meals. Table salt makes up only a small amount of your usual intake. Most any food that is frozen or uses preservatives will have high sodium levels. Choose foods labeled “low-sodium” and avoid the salt shaker as much as possible.
Water, Water, Everywhere
The human body is approximately 60% water and needs a constant intake of fluids to stay fit and healthy. The problem is that most people get less thirsty as they age and may not realize they are drinking less. Keep the fluids in mind. Water is the most important but other liquids like fruit juice or tea will also help keep you properly hydrated.
Choose to Eat Whole Grain
One of the top diet tips for seniors is eating whole grain foods instead of other refined grains. Whole grains have been proven to reduce the risk of many common diseases. Adding whole grain to your daily diet will lower your chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes by a wide margin. Supplement white bread with whole wheat and add foods like brown rice and oatmeal to your diet. Whole grains also contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for long-term health.
Just as your blood pressure increases as you age your bone strength will decrease. This is another natural process of advanced age, but with the right diet it can be slowed or controlled. The best defense against bone degeneration is Calcium. Seniors will need upwards of 1,200 mg of Calcium each day to fight the effects of aging. Calcium has the double result of both strengthening bones and lowering blood pressure.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many great food sources. Most types of fish and meat (predominately in beef that has been grass-fed) contain high levels of Omega-3. Eggs and flaxseed oil are also great sources of this fatty acid. Omega-3 will reduce the inflammation that can lead to arthritis. It is also essential in preventing heart disease and many types of cancer. Add foods rich in Omega-3 to keep your heart healthy and ticking for a long time.