Aging is a natural process but to keep it healthy is in your hands.
Eating healthy has always been important in any stage of the life but it becomes crucial while we start aging, i.e. beyond 50’s where we are down by half the century of our lives.
Majority of the populations is aging at a faster pace than in the past, so there is a need to identify the nutrient requirements as it varies with age & gender. As we start getting older, the balanced meal can help in improving mental health, boost energy levels and increase resistance towards the illness. Consumption of a well-balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy as you start ageing.
No matter what your eating pattern was in past and currently, you can always change the habit by opting healthy options in your meal which has seen to have greater impact on living longer and stronger, sharpening your mind & feeling better.
Nutritional needs may vary from person to person. However, some guidelines can help everyone to maintain a healthy diet
Focus on Nutrient Rich foods – As we age, loss of appetite is common where the caloric needs decrease as sense of smell and taste diminishes which can lead to eating less. So it is good to include some nutrient dense food such as vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, whole grains, lean protein & low fat dairy. One must limit high caloric deep fried foods, processed and refined foods.
Incorporate fiber rich foods in every meal to avoid constipation and to maintain a healthy digestive system. Soluble fiber is found to have a good control over cholesterol levels.
Dietary Supplements needs increase due to slow metabolism. One must include calcium, vitamin Magnesium and vitamin B12 as they are poorly absorbed in the elderly. So supplementation is a must under the supervision of physician or dietitian.
Staying hydrated is most important as the person starts ageing thirst drops down and you may feel dehydrated, constipated, Urinary tract infections (UTI) and even confusion as the sense of thirst is not as sharp. If one is not found of having only water than the alternates are such as vegetables juice, soup, green tea, coconut water, tea, coffee, water rich fruits such as watermelon & muskmelon.
Some foods are found to have anti-aging properties which can be incorporated as a part of the daily meal.
Amla– Also known as Indian gooseberry, they are power packed with vitamin C which helps in slowing the anti-aging process which helps reduce cell damage and protects the body from the action of free radicals (oxidation).
Omega 3 – Omega 3 is a vital nutrient for optimal health and it’s an essential fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own and thus supplementation is necessary or via foods to be consumed which is effective for immunity, brain and eye functions and inflammatory responses as well. Omega 3 external sources are fatty fish (salmon), nuts & seeds such as walnuts and flaxseeds.
Avocado– Avocado is best anti – ageing fruit high in oleic acid which reduces inflammation. Avocado also contains vitamins K, C, E & A which prevents negative effects of aging.
Watermelon seeds – Watermelon seeds contain zinc, which slows down the aging process because of its ability of protein synthesis, cell division and repair. It also has magnesium (140% daily requirements), copper, manganese and potassium and these nutrients contribute to strengthen the of bones and mineral density as well.
Yogurt – Yogurt is rich in calcium which helps in osteoporosis and contains good bacteria that helps maintain gut health and diminishes the incidence of age related intestinal illness.
This advice leads to healthy aging along with healthy mind and body which has holistic approach towards living life longer.
You can calculate your biological age using an online questionnaire like the Activ Age Calculator. This is as simple questionnaire which uses your actual age and then considers factors like your blood sugar level, cholesterol level, eating habits and lifestyle to calculate your biological age.