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The Importance Of Eating Healthy As You Get Older

Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is important throughout our lives. But as we get older, it is not uncommon for out diets to change. Medical conditions, lifestyle changes and taste can all lead to adjustments in our eating habits.

As we age, health concerns begin to revolve around memory, quality of life and our ability to take care of ourselves. One very easy way we can help manage any health issues is by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. But what is ‘healthy’ diet and what foods are good for you as you get older?

What does a healthy diet mean as you get older?

The food we eat as a key role to play in reducing the risk of developing conditions such as dementia, Parkinson or heart attacks. According to the British Nutrition Foundation, foods high in salt and fat can have a greater risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes

But, eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to go without your favourite meal, snack or pudding. On the contrary, it’s important to enjoy your food as you get older, but equally to understand how much and how often you are doing so.

Generally, older people, more so than any other age group, tend to have similar dietary requirements. However, the ability to absorb nutrients is affected by age. Nutrients like B12, which can found mainly in dairy and protein.

Vitamin C is also another important nutrient that can help maintain physical health. Predominately found in fruit and vegetables, this nutrient has many antioxidant properties which can reduce the risk of viruses. Calcium is also another important nutrient that is essential to maintaining healthy joints and muscles in your autumn years.

Iron is also another very important nutrient for older people. It has a number of important functions, particularly the forming of red blood cells, and can be found in foods like red meat, eggs, and wholegrain products. Iron deficiencies can often be the first sign of more serious health issues in individuals aged over 50.

Brain food

Certain foods contain specific key nutrients that are known to help improve specific mental task, such as memory and concentration. Here are a few of the best ingredients and some quick, simple and delicious recipe ideas.

Fatty Fish

Generally, all fish is good for you. However, some fish are considered more healthy than others, namely fatty fish. These types of fish include sardines, mackerel, salmon and sardines, all of which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Recipe idea: Salmon with greens & crème fraîche

Blueberries

Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neuro degenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. High in antioxidants that act against both stress and inflammation, conditions that have been known to contribute to brain ageing.

Recipe idea: Porridge with blueberry compote

Turmeric

Turmeric, and especially its most active compound curcumin, have many scientifically-proven health benefits. High in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, this humble spice can help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Perfect in curry, marinades or any rice dishes.

Recipe idea: Smoked haddock kedgeree

For some more information and delicious free recipes ideas check out the BBC’s Good Food website, here. Additionally, you could also check out the British Nutrition Foundations recently updated Health Food Guide for some great information on eating healthier.

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