Healthy nutrition means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, energy and overall sense of well being. Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but becomes increasingly important as we age. Eating correct portions of the right kinds of food lowers your risk of developing chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Older adults are naturally more glucose intolerant and insulin resistant than young individuals. As a result, many have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic heart disease.
At Ocean Springs Health and Rehabilitation Center, eating well isn’t just something we do—it’s who we are. Our dietary department will ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition and rehabilitation you need to support your ever-changing and unique healthcare needs.
How can eating well help me stay healthy as I age?
As we age, our dietary needs change. While older adults need fewer calories, our nutrient needs are just as high (if not higher) as they’ve always been. Here are a few easy nutritional changes you can make to help prevent deficiencies and other age-related changes:
- Drink (and eat) more water
As you age, your sense of thirst lessens, and your kidneys aren’t able to conserve water as well. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat foods with high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers, to avoid dehydration.
- Eat more fiber
Our digestive system naturally slows down with age, which can lead to constipation. Eating foods rich in fiber will help promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently.
- Choose more nutrient-rich foods
Though older adults require fewer calories they need just as many, if not more, nutrients as everyone else. Choose nutrient-dense foods like dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats.
- Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s can help keep your brain healthy as you age. Try adding foods like salmon, tuna, trout, flaxseed and walnuts to your diet to support healthy brain function.
- Consider supplements
Supplements can help you get your daily dose of B12, vitamin D and calcium. These three powerhouses help digestion and prevent bone loss—two things that we all need help with as we age.
At Ocean Springs Health and Rehabilitation Center, our senior rehabilitation services provide ongoing guidance on how to eat a well-balanced diet and stay as healthy as possible in your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. Our certified dietary managers are eager to help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the essential nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life.