What Does Eating Healthy Mean for Seniors?

What Does Eating Healthy Mean for Seniors?

Image Credit: MedicareInsurance.com

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In your golden years, eating a healthy, balanced diet is more crucial to maintaining overall health and wellness than ever. As seniors, our bodies undergo significant changes. We lose strength, mentally and physically. Retaining water becomes harder than ever, and our bodies are no longer able to process crucial vitamins and elements, such as magnesium, at the same level as they did when we were younger.

As it would at any age, the definition of “eating healthy” varies depending on your own personal health and nutrition needs. For instance, a senior living by a diet plan to maintain optimal heart health wouldn’t eat many of the same foods as a senior who’s on a diet plan to gain weight in a healthy way. Because your own individual health needs are not the same as someone else’s, what looks like a healthy diet for one senior may not look the same as your own.

Even with the differences in foods, many seniors need to up their intake of certain vitamins and minerals to maintain good health. Intake of water is also incredibly important. Today, our friends at MedicareInsurance.com are here to help you discover what eating healthy means for seniors.

Barriers to Eating Certain Foods Increase as We Age

For some seniors, not eating healthy is a matter of choice. For others, there may be certain medical, mental, or financial factors at play. Because of those factors, we should never assume that a senior isn’t eating the healthy foods that they need because they’re choosing not to.

Before jumping to the conclusion that a senior’s refusal to eat healthy foods stems from simple refusal to do so, consider the following:

  • The senior may have sensitivity issues that are acting as a barrier to eating certain foods.
  • The senior takes certain medications that carry decreased appetite, nausea, and taste perception as side effects.
  • Poor dental health may make eating painful.
  • The senior lives on a fixed income, which may force them to purchase food options that do not provide the nutrition they need.
  • Transportation issues are keeping the senior from visiting the grocery store as often as they need to.
  • Physical and mental limitations may be keeping the senior from cooking healthy meals.

If you’re a senior living with these barriers to eating healthy, you should know that it’s okay to seek help in order to gain access to the foods you need. Whether that means relying on grocery delivery services or moving to a long-term care facility to get proper meals, there’s no shame in admitting that you need assistance with maintaining your health. For those of you who care for senior loved ones living with these barriers, it’s important that you do everything that you can to ensure that your loved ones get the nutrition that they need.

What Are Some Healthy Foods That Are Easy for Seniors to Eat?

Eating healthy for seniors primarily means choosing foods that can help you lessen or ward off the effects of illnesses and diseases that most commonly come on in older age. This can include anything from cognitive illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, to certain cancers and heart issues. A healthy diet may not keep you from developing such issues, but it can help you keep them at bay for as long as possible.

A diet that’s healthy for seniors will include nourishing foods that are rich in certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as:

  • Omega-3s
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamins C, D, and B12
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

A proper diet will also include plenty of water. To keep from dehydrating, researchers recommend that seniors drink around 15.5 cups per day.

Examples of healthy foods that include the nutrients that seniors need to maintain good health include:

  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Fish and/or shellfish
  • Peppers
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
  • Whole milk
  • Lean poultry
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado

Before you choose to tackle any diet plan, it’s important to sit with a healthcare provider to make a list of foods that’ll help you achieve your wellness goals without complications. For example, if you’re living with diverticulitis, eating walnuts to get needed Omega-3s aren’t an option. You’ll instead need to choose different options, such as avocado or salmon. 

Live Happier, Eat Healthier

Of course, there are more variables that go into a healthy lifestyle than just food. Exercise, meditation, and self-care are important, too. However, what you put into your body is vital to keep it running as efficiently as possible for as long as it can.

Regular doctor’s visits are crucial to maintaining good health as well. A comprehensive Medicare plan can help you cover the costs of wellness and preventive visits. To learn more about Medicare plans near you and what they may offer, give our friends at MedicareInsurance.com a call today at (800) 950-0608. Their knowledgeable licensed agents are always happy to answer any questions you may have about Medicare plans.

*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.


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