Old age brings lots of health issues, and conquering them is only possible through a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. When we get older, we forget to make the necessary changes in our lifestyle. We do not even give it a thought that choosing a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can make your age just a number for you. In other words, it has significant benefits for your physical and mental health.
We always hear from people that life asks for changes from time to time; the same rule applies to our dietary requirements. As we get older, the definition of a balanced diet also changes for us. So, it is important to know what is the right meaning of a balanced diet at a different stage of life. Through this article, we are guiding aged people in choosing the right diet and lifestyle for them.
This guide will help you understand the following:
- Importance of Fruits and Vegetables
- How food containing starch content influences your body?
- Dairy Products and their benefits for you
- Foods that are rich in proteins
So let us start the complete guide!
Importance of Fruit and vegetables
Starting your day by the right amount of fruits and vegetables prevents most of the illnesses. It helps in avoiding serious health issues like heart disease and cancer. This is because fruits and vegetables consist of minerals, vitamins, fat and fibre, which are necessary for your body.
No matter whether you are taking fresh fruit or dried fruit. They give you all the required nutrients. If you are not fond of eating fruits, then you can sip them in the form of packed juices. Apart from this, you can try vegetable soup if you do not like to eat veggies.
One intake of fruits and vegetables should consist of the following:
- Small pieces of apple, orange, banana and pears
- Any two fruits among kiwi, satsumas, and plums
- One Pineapple slice or you can take a watermelon slice.
- A small number of dry fruits. Avoid raisins if you have diabetes.
- Little quantity of fresh fruit juice.
- Dry fruits and fruit juices can form a single serving.
- A small plate of salad
Apart from this, we suggest that “Do not take dry fruits with a meal.”. This is because it can harm your teeth through its much sugar content.
Food Containing Starch Content
Growing old and worrying about your health? Forget all your worries and take food that contains starch and fibre content in enough amounts. The list of foods that contain healthy starch content includes Potatoes, bread, rice, and grains etc. Not only starch it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B and fibres.
Must include these starch-containing items in your meal as they are low in fat content and high in fibre. Taking grains in breakfast is like adding health to your day. So, include whole grain and oats in your meal.
It also helps you to avoid constipation and other stomach issues. Taking fibre will give you benefit only when you take it in the right quantity. It can harm your health if you take it more than required.
Avoid adding bran in your food as it restricts you getting some significant minerals. Apart from this, take enough fluids like tea, water, coffee, milk and so on to remove toxins from the body.
Dairy Products and their benefits for you
Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese are a great source of calcium and other nutrients like vitamin A, Vitamin B12 proteins and fat etc. Calcium plays a great role in making your bones stronger and effective in the functioning of muscles and nerves.
But do you know taking calcium is not enough to have stronger bones? It is important to take vitamin D to get a complete result. Some dairy products consist of high fat so choose low-fat products like fatless milk that do not compromise with the calcium.
If you are not fond of milk, then sugar-free dry fruits are the best options for you.
Foods That Are Rich In Protein
Pulses are always a good source of protein but are these the only option? Apart from pulses Beans, peas, legumes, lentils, soy milk, nuts, oats, vegetables(spinach, potatoes, broccoli), fruits(bananas, guavas) and so on are the good sources of proteins. Especially for vegetarian people, the above list of food is a gem.
These foods are a good replacement for meat as they lack fat and enriched with fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein etc.
For non-vegetarians, egg and meat is the best source of protein. There are people too, who do not like meat, but they like eggs as they can have it in different ways like an omelette, boiled and stirred eggs.
If you are young, then we recommend only two pieces of fish in a week. Some canned fish like salmon and pilchards are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that keep your heart healthy. Meat contains protein, iron, and vitamin B12 and iron-rich food prevents anaemia.
However, meat is a rich source of essential nutrients, but every type of meat is not good for your health. Especially when you are old take care of it. Avoid eating processed meat; they are extremely rich in fat and contain no iron content. Still, if you want to eat processed meat, avoid frying it.
Vitamins And Minerals
Are you getting the right vitamins and minerals? Ask this question to yourself before taking meals every day. This will help you recognise whether you are taking the right amount of every nutrient or not. It is possible only through right knowledge of vitamins and minerals. Here are the necessary vitamins and minerals that are useful for all age groups.
When we grow old, our bones start to lose their strengths. Do you know why this happens? This is due to the lack of calcium in the body. Calcium helps our bones to stay stronger. To maintain that, it is necessary to take calcium-rich food in the right amount.
One of the major health issues(mostly in women), Osteoporosis happens due to deficiency of calcium. Our bone density reduces gradually as we grow old, and food like milk, yoghurt, and other dairy products are a rich source of calcium.
Before choosing the calcium-rich food for you, remember that it should be low in fat. Leaving apart dairy products, you can also eat tinned fish and green leafy vegetables for calcium.
Iron is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in the production of blood. Mostly iron is found in red blood cells which are known as haemoglobin and muscle cells which are named as myoglobin. The right amount of haemoglobin is necessary to transfer oxygen to essential parts of the body.
So, taking iron-rich food is essential to help your body function efficiently. Foods that include good iron content: red meat, pulses( like peas, legumes, lentils and beans), canned fish, green leafy vegetables, eggs and fruits(like apple and banana) etc.
Potassium is good for your health only when you take it in the right quantity. Our age challenges the functioning of our organs. Our kidneys get weak to pass potassium from the blood. So, avoid taking potassium supplements unless recommended by your doctor.
We always hear that everything in life is good for us. The same fact also applies to the intake of Vitamin A. If you take it in high quantities, it can harm your health. Especially in old age, you should take more care as high Vitamin A makes your bones weaker.
Take Vitamin A rich food in less quantity. Foods that include vitamin A are animal liver, fish, Carrot, Broccoli and so on.
Just like calcium does not work without Vitamin D, Iron can not work without Vitamin C as it helps in storing iron. Taking vitamin C enriched meals is necessary to get the right iron content. You can get iron from fruits, vegetables and other meals suggested above but for vitamin C you should choose fruits that include citrus. Apart from these green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, lemon, and orange are good sources of vitamin C.
One of the essential elements for our body, Vitamin D, helps calcium to do their work. Along with this, It helps our body to develop stronger bones and muscles. Without bones, our body will be like cloth. So, it is necessary to have stronger bones through calcium and Vitamin D. Now the question is: how can we get this important nutrient? There are two sources to get vitamin D: Sunlight and food.
We get enough sunlight in summers, but in winters, it sometimes gets difficult to gain the right amount of it. Put sunscreen to prevent sunburn and adverse effects of UV rays that come from the sun directly.
Although sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, there are times you do not get enough sunlight. Therefore taking vitamin D rich food is a better replacement of sunlight.
Meals that include vitamin D in rich quantities: fish(fresh or canned like Salmon and sardines), eggs, meat, mushrooms, soy products, dairy products, fortified cereals and much more. These items contain less fat which makes them a good option for meals.
Apart from sunlight and vitamin d rich food, one can get this nutrient by taking small Vitamin D supplements. Keep this option at last because natural ways of getting vitamin D are always better than processed one.
In old age, it sometimes happens that we become unable to go in the sunlight. At that time, doctors suggest taking vitamin D supplements in suggested quantities. This is because vitamin D is necessary to save your bones and so to your body.
Health always becomes a matter of concern when you grow old. Right folic acid in the body supports in maintaining good health. Green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, bread and brown rice are good sources of folic acid.
What Can You Drink To Maintain Fluid Level In Your Body?
Water is one of the important sources of life. So, ensure that you are taking the right amount of fluid or not. To function in the right way, our body requires the right amount of fluid that prevents constipation as well.
If you fail to sip 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, it can cause dehydration in the body. So, to maintain balance in your body and keep it active, it is necessary to take fluid content. It is not necessary to take only water. You can maintain fluid in your body by sipping other fluids too.
Hot Beverages(tea and coffee)
Most of the tea and coffee contains caffeine, so, taking them in reasonable quantities is fine for your health. However, if you mostly consume caffeine products, then consider sipping water and other types of liquids with them.
How to decide that you are dehydrated or not?
When we grow old, we lose the desire for drinking water. It may happen sometime that we may be suffering from dehydration, and not even know that. So, here are the symptoms that will help you, recognising dehydration:
- Darker urine than normal
- Random headaches
- Unable to focus
Maintain An Appropriate Weight
Overweight is one of the biggest problems these days. Unhealthy weight is making us prone to most of the illnesses. Especially when you are old suffering some illness, adding one more health issue due to obesity can be life-threatening. Problems that you become more prone to are heart failures and diabetes etc. It is recommended to half your meal when you grow old and become more active to live a healthy life.
Along with these tips, there are some items that you need to cut down from your meals and life. Here are those items:
Reduce Salt Intake
The recommended salt intake per day is 6g per day, and when you buy processed food, select items with reduced salt. If you are fond of salt, pepper, and natural spices are a better replacement for it.
Reduce Sugar Intake
It is recommended not to take more than 30 g of sugar per day. Especially if you are a diabetic patient, then avoid it completely and start taking natural sugar from fruits and vegetables.
Avoid Alcohol Completely
Alcohol is the only drink that you never lose interest in. However, it is necessary to know that alcohol is a rich source of calories that further increases weight and loss of vision.
Aged people attract lots of health problems making it necessary for them to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. Few people know that diet plays a major role rather than an exercise in living a healthy life. To develop a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle to go more miles happily.