Our bodies change as we age, not just in how they look, but in how they move and work. One key to staying healthy and increasing our chances of prosperous, long lives is to choose healthy, nutrient-filled foods that combat common aging issues. Our staff at each of the Surpass Senior Living communities understands the importance of nourishing our bodies with nutrient-rich foods.
Nutrition for Seniors
Each of us has been advised on the basics of a healthy diet: eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose healthy fats, stay away from salts and sweets. Yet, as we age and encounter different healthcare needs, the way we consume and relate to food can shift.
We may find it difficult to chew or swallow, or we could lose some of our sense of taste over time. With a change in lifestyle, we may not feel like cooking, or we may get tired of eating alone. Each of these scenarios could lead to a lessened desire to eat, turning what was once a smooth-running machine into a slower, clunkier one.
That is why nutrition and dining at Surpass Senior Living communities are personalized for each resident based upon their individual needs.
Foods That Heal
Common issues arise as we age, which can prevent us from living our best lives. While altering our diet is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s important to acknowledge the role food and nutrition play in our overall health. Choosing food options with our health needs in mind can significantly impact our daily lives and the toll aging has on our bodies. Some foods are especially helpful in combating these common aging ailments:
When choosing foods to combat arthritis, look for those with anti-inflammatory properties, which are known to help relieve pain in the joints. These foods include green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, blueberries, salmon, and spices and oils such as turmeric and coconut oil.
A heart-healthy diet is key to the prevention of heart disease and other heart issues. For a healthy heart, choose foods such as whole-grain breads, lean meats, and salt-free seasonings. Low-fat dairy products such as 1% milk and low-fat yogurt, are also good sources of lean protein, a staple in a heart-healthy diet.
Like most health-centered diet plans, the best food choices for diabetes prevention and intervention are whole foods. Asparagus and cranberries provide phytonutrients known to be beneficial in the diet plan of those with diabetes. There is also increasing evidence that certain nuts, when eaten in moderation, help improve blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes.
Age-related memory loss may be helped by eating foods that are known to boost your memory. Leafy greens, cold water fish, berries and dark-skinned fruit all work to lower levels of cognitive decline in aging adults. Healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil and cold-pressed coconut oil help fight memory loss. And, although this list can seem ultra-healthy, we can’t leave out those foods high in antioxidants and moderate caffeine levels, like coffee and chocolate, that have also been shown to help to boost memory.
Our moods can be determined by many factors: our sleep, our daily interactions, and what we put in our bodies. Foods rich in vitamin B6 such as avocados and chicken help fight depression. Tomatoes and walnuts are also known for the mood-boosting properties they offer.
A Final Tip
As you can see, there are many benefits to eating nutrient-filled foods aimed at healing the body. In addition to the above, seniors should not forget the importance of drinking water. Water can help in many ways, from relieving headaches and reducing fatigue, to aiding in digestion.
After reading and learning about the many benefits of eating for your health, you may choose to meet with a nutritionist that specializes in your specific health needs and goals. Surpass Senior Living offers nutritional support to meet your specific health and diet needs. Our in-house culinary teams are always mindful of providing well-balanced meals while keeping with residents’ favorites that they’ve enjoyed their entire lives. From assisted living options to memory care, Surpass Senior Living is there for every step of your health journey.