One of the most enjoyable activities that humans enjoy is partaking in good food and drinks. Burgers, pizzas, chips, fries, soda, and even alcoholic beverages – these are some of the food and beverages everyone enjoys at restaurants and fast food chains. Eating outside and with friends and family is also preferred by many people since food is served faster.
On the other hand, cooking at home can take more time and feel like a chore. However, as enjoyable and convenient these varieties of food are, they’re also rich in dangerous components like oil, salt, preservatives, sugar, and calories. When a person is still young and active, these kinds of food can be quickly burned and digested by the body’s metabolism. The organs can also still efficiently process and expel what needs to be expelled after intake of these components.
However, as a person ages and the body gets older, the metabolism doesn’t work as fast as it did before when younger. The organs may also not be as efficient in digesting and getting rid of specific components. Furthermore, nutritional needs can change and the need for calories can lessen as people become older.
These aren’t the only things and needs that changes within the body, though.
What Changes in The Body with Age?
When people become older, they might experience losing their appetite. The sense of taste and smell might also decrease and is one of the reasons for appetite loss.
The body will need fewer calories as it gets older. When more calories are consumed than what is required, more weight will be gained.
The immune system also weakens and makes a person more vulnerable to food-borne illness as the body gets older. The body also becomes more prone to cough, cold, and flu.
This is one of the most common changes in the body that we witness in our grandparents. As the body ages, people lose bone mass, calcium, and other minerals. The bones then become more brittle. The height may also decrease because of the shortening of the spine and trunk. Because the bones are less strong, the body can easily lose its balance and lead to accidents. The bones will also take longer to heal in case of fractures. What’s even worse is that the bones and ligaments may never return to their original state after an injury.
Because of these changes in the body, there is a greater need to choose healthier foods and avoid the ones that can be detrimental to the body.
Here are ten natural and healthy eating tips for people who are approaching their senior years:
#1 Consume Colorful Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits that have deeper colors are abundant in vitamins and antioxidants. Dr. Diane Stadler is Oregon Health and Science University’s assistant professor of medicine. She recommends red raspberries, blueberries, and dark cherries for fruits. She also lists vegetables such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. Vitamins consumed from vegetables and fruits can also keep the body from getting c
#2 Drink Lots of Water
Always keep the body hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. When the body doesn’t get enough fluid, it becomes dehydrated which can make people feel tired. Regularly drinking water also makes the skin healthier.
#3 Drink and Consume Products Rich in Calcium
As mentioned before, the body’s bones become less dense and more brittle with age. Hence, it’s essential to take products rich in calcium such as milk and cheese. Daily and constant intake of calcium can also prevent osteoporosis. Other sources of calcium, aside from dairy products, are beverages like soy milk, fish, and fruit juices that are calcium-enriched.
#4 Choose Products Rich in Fiber
Fiber maintains good bowel movement and helps prevent constipation which also becomes more common as the body ages. Fiber also keeps blood cholesterols and sugar levels regular. Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and B-vitamins. These can also be consumed from fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and oats.
#5 Avoid Eating Outside
Food and drinks in restaurants and fast food chains are convenient and quickly served. However, they are often full of unhealthy calories, oil, salt, and sugar. Healthier options such as salads can also be more expensive in restaurants. Instead of going out to eat, prepare your own healthy meal and save both your money and health.
#6 Take Food Supplements
While eating healthy and choosing the right food everyday indeed gives a more robust and better body, it isn’t guaranteed that you always get all the needed nutrients. To make sure you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, take food supplements that are rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, sodium, and magnesium. However, it is crucial to ask your doctor and verify that you’re getting the right meds for your specific needs.
#7 Eat with Family and Friends
Because of the loss of appetite and the decrease of the sense of taste and smell, eating can sometimes feel a chore. When this happens, eating becomes less enjoyable and a tendency to skip can be possible. When skipping meals, the body will not be able to replenish its energy and gather the needed nutrients. Not eating can also lead to other ailments such as ulcer or hyperacidity. To make meals enjoyable, always eat together with the family at home or with friends when outside.
#8 Choose Lean Protein
Poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and lean meat are excellent sources of protein. Protein builds and keeps the body’s muscles strong and will also maintain the health of the hair, skin, and nails.
#9 Always Check the Label
Before opening or consuming a product, always check the nutritional facts label and make sure they are low in fat, sodium, and sugar.
#10 Keep in Mind Aristotle’s Golden Mean and Role of Mediation
Aristotle emphasizes the importance of the mean between two extremes, excess and deficiency. The appropriate amount of food should be consumed to maintain the right weight depending on the age and body. If more than what is needed is consumed or vice versa, the body may experience imbalance and develop illnesses due to lack or excess of certain nutrients.