Now that you reside in an assisted living facility, you have more time to focus on a healthy diet that will keep you active. Enjoy your retirement years more by keeping your body and mind strong with the right foods. Whether you still do your own cooking or get help from the staff, eating healthy meals lets you get the most from retirement.
How the Right Foods Help the Aging Body
Your body slows down as you age. It has to work harder to get the nutrients out of foods. As you age, your immune system changes and is slower to react to potential illness and injury, according to the National Institutes of Heath. Foods that are nutrient-rich and easier to convert into energy boost your body and immune system. High vitamin and mineral foods that are low in carbohydrates keep your body lean but full of energy.
Your mental state is also improved by eating right. Memory and alertness are boosted by foods containing anti-oxidants. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help you focus and have a longer attention span. These brain-foods combat sluggishness and the desire to be inactive.
Eat more fresh foods than processed foods to energize your body. Processed foods can have more added sugar and sodium to improve taste or shelf life.
Foods You'll Want in Your Diet
Learn which foods give you the most energy and reduce the effort your body must use to digest them. While good when prepared in a balanced meal, use some of these foods for a quick snack during the day. You'll have more energy for all of things you want to do.
Vegetables - Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes boost your immune system. Broccoli and dark-green leafy vegetables, like spinach, are rich in anti-oxidants. Dried kale with a touch of sea salt is a healthy snack that will give you a boost.
Fruits - Choose whole fruits over canned or juices. You'll get more of the fruit fiber and less added sugars. Bananas, berries and melons give you a dose of anti-oxidants. Raw apples and pears are full of natural sugars and water. Chewing them removes plaque from teeth. Dried fruits can be a healthy snack if they don't have added sugars.
Dairy - Fight off the effects of osteoporosis by having a diet rich in calcium and vitamin-D. Milk, yogurt and cottage cheese should be in your diet. Use cheese as a snack. Almonds and broccoli deliver calcium to your body if you have an intolerance of dairy foods.
Grains - Choose whole grain foods over others to gain the benefit of more fiber and nutrients. This includes cereals, pasta and bread. Cornmeal is also a good source of fiber, iron and phosphorous. Oatmeal is a good source of vitamins and fiber. The Food Network suggests eating rolled-oats or the plain variety of instant oatmeal. The flavored instant variety contains added sugar.
Protein - A lean, protein-rich diet keeps your muscles in shape without adding on the pounds. Vary your meals using lean beef, chicken, fish and liver. Add eggs, seeds, nuts and beans as another way to get healthy protein for your body.
Water - Your body needs to take in more water as it ages. Drink a glass with every meal and stay hydrated throughout the day. The senior body must work harder to regulate fluids, so additional water is helpful. It also aids in digestion, improves circulation and reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
Take the time to understand how foods affect your energy levels as you age. Eat a healthy diet and have the stamina to enjoy your retirement years. Talk to people like Casa De Palomas for more information.