March is National Nutrition Month. Most think of nutrition as eating food that keeps you healthy but it’s more than that. Nutrition means providing yourself with the food that is necessary not only for health but for growth. Food should maintain good health and help to keep you free from disease. What is considered nutritious has changed over the centuries as we’ve learned more about how our body works.
Seniors in particular should concentrate on eating the most nutritious food possible since many elderly people tend to lose their appetites.
The following list should help you to choose what is most important in your diet including:
- Water. Failure to keep yourself hydrated as you age can result in confusion, constipation and urinary tract infections. Include foods that contain water such as soups, cucumbers, watermelon and other fruits. Keep a glass of water nearby during the day to remind you to take frequent sips.
- Foods with lots of nutrients. Look for foods which contain lots of vitamin D such as egg yolks and fatty fish. Vitamin D will help you to grow bone density and keep your bones strong. Fatty fish also contains B12. Many older adults need extra B12 as their bodies will no longer absorb it as easily as when they were younger. Magnesium can help your heart and is found in foods such as spinach, nuts and whole grains.
- Fiber. Your digestive system may slow down as you age so add lots of fibre to your diet. Think berries, oatmeal and fruit. They will help to lower your cholesterol and help your intestines to retain water.
- Grains and Protein. Protein is especially important if you are ill or weak. It can be found in eggs, oats, broccoli, almonds and chicken breast, among other foods. Grains help to protect you against disease so once again, reach for that bowl of oatmeal!
Sticking to a nutritious diet doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, some of the most delicious foods available are also on the list of what is healthiest. To read about National Nutrition Month, get answers to your questions and find tips, click here.