Healthy eating isn’t about giving up your favorite foods. It is more about a lifestyle that enjoys colorful foods, fresh flavors and eating well.
The benefits of healthy eating after 55 include better immune system functioning, increased energy, quicker recovery from illness, greater mental clarity and improved management of chronic conditions.
As we age, the nutrient and calorie needs of our bodies change, so it’s important to know what to eat. We’ll talk about the best meals and foods over 55.
The benefits of a healthy and sensible diet can have immediate results. By balancing good food habits with physical activity, the quality of life improves and independence is maintained.
- Increased Lifespan – Studies have shown that those who participate in a healthy lifestyle, even in later years live longer. This is partially due to better functioning immune system and better control of chronic diseases like diabetes.
- Stay Stronger – Eating foods containing essential nutrients keeps bones and muscles stronger. This results in less accidental injuries and faster recovery time.
- Mentally Sharp – For the brain to function well, it needs some key nutrients. A diet high in omega 3s gives your sharper focus and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Look Good, Feel Better – Healthy eating will result in a more youthful appearance. The increased energy levels experienced result in an overall sense of well-being and happiness.
Eating After 55
After the age of 50, our bodies are more susceptible to damage by free radicals. It is more important than ever to eat from a wide variety of healthy foods to ensure an adequate intake of antioxidants and important nutrients. When making changes in your diet, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice. Follow these guidelines for the best meals and foods over 55.
- Breakfast. A nutrient packed breakfast every morning will start your metabolism working. You should be sure to include proteins, good fats and vitamins. Examples are scrambled eggs, fruit and a spoon of cod liver oil.
- Fruits and Vegetables. Choose brightly colored fruits like berries and melons. Vegetables should consist of a large variety of dark green like kale and spinach, as well as carrots, yams and squash. A tip to get a good variety is to eat from every color on the palette. You need six to eight servings a day.
- Whole Grains. Over the age of 55, you need six to seven ounces of whole grains every day. Avoid refined grains and look for foods labeled “100% whole grain”.
- Protein. Protein is not stored by the body, so we need a daily intake for health. Recommendations are a half gram of protein for every pound of weight. By dividing your weight in half, you will know the amount you need. Choose from a variety of high quality protein sources like fish, legumes, nuts, cheese and eggs.
- Water. As we age, our bodies lose the ability to properly regulate fluid balance and the thirst mechanism becomes dulled. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water.