This week, we celebrated National Senior Health and Fitness day. As we age, it is very important to set health and wellness as a priority. In older adults, there are certain nutrition requirements that become extra important. Nourishing our bodies, finding joy in movement, and self-care all play a huge role in improving quality of life.
It is important for older adults to maintain as much muscle mass as possible to stay strong and healthy! Consuming enough protein each day will help to preserve lean body mass, fight infection, and recover from an accident or injury. A few ways to ensure an adequate amount of protein are:
- Include beans! Beans are an easy source of protein that can be enjoyed several different ways. Plus, they are loaded with fiber to assist with digestion.
- Cook with milk or milk powder. Adding milk into foods will not only add protein, but also calcium for strong, healthy bones. Milk powder can be added into cream soups, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal.
- Protein shakes! You can either make your own or choose from a variety of pre-made shakes at the store.
- Add shredded cheese to your scrambled eggs in the morning.
- Make your snacks count. Snacks are an easy way to fill in nutritional gaps, so be sure to include a protein source during snack time. This could be cheese and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, or Greek yogurt and fruit.
Calcium and Vitamin D:
For those that are older than 70, vitamin D and calcium become especially important to maintain good bone health. Aim for 3 servings of calcium-rich foods a day including dark-green vegetables, dairy products, calcium fortified cereals and juices, and canned fish with soft bones. Vitamin D sources include fatty fish such as salmon, eggs, and fortified foods.
Try to eat fiber-rich foods daily to assist with digestion and to prevent diabetes and heart issues. Fiber rich foods include beans and lentils, peas, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.
Make sure to include mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. This includes nuts, seeds, avocados, vegetable oils, and fish. Try to eat saturated fats in moderation.
Get some sleep!
Make sure to get at least 7-9 hours of good sleep each night. Getting adequate sleep can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. It can also help to regulate hunger and fullness cues.
Find joy in movement:
Find a way to make movement enjoyable. This may be walking, gardening, dancing, yoga, water aerobics, and many more. It’s important to get your body moving in a way that alleviates stress and makes you feel good!
No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.