We all know that age-related ailments come with age. The good news is that healthy aging is not out of reach – with proper nutrition you can help offset, or at least mitigate, some of these ailments.
According to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine research, the food you eat contributes to your overall well-being and longevity. Our metabolism starts to slow down as we age, and we become more susceptible to hormonal changes, muscle loss, bone loss, and age-related ailments. Taking a proactive approach to improving your eating habits, then, can help lead to a healthier and longer life. The burning question, of course, is which foods should baby boomers eat to slow down the clock and enjoy more healthy years on earth. Here are five foods that experts suggest baby boomers should eat for healthy aging.
Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables are packed with several nutrients such as vitamins A, E, and C, potassium, folate, and fiber and experts say they should be included in every meal. Fruits also are rich in minerals, vitamins, plant chemicals, fiber, and antioxidants. If you want to improve your health as you age, it’s crucial to ensure that fruits and vegetables occupy half of your plate. Fruits and vegetables can be eaten fresh, cooked, or canned (low sodium variety is the ideal).
For vegetables, experts advise baby boomers to incorporate broccoli, leafy greens, beets, mushrooms, bok choy, onions, carrots, garlic, and celery in their daily diet. As for the fruits, you should consume blueberries, strawberries, apples, limes, lemons, and raspberries. Dry fruits are good for healthy aging too. Figs, raisins, dates, and goji berries are rich in magnesium, an element that helps relax the mind and body and digestion.
Whole Grain Foods
The importance of eating whole grains instead of refined and enriched grains increases as we age since they offer more nutrients and fiber. The sense of smell and taste may plummet with age, but you’ll still be able to know when something is sweet. This can lead to more consumption of refined carbs and sugar, leading to blood sugar spikes.
As a baby boomer ensuring that one-quarter of your plate is made up of whole grains can significantly improve your health as you age. The healthiest grains include brown rice, whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice, crackers, and bran cereal.
Boomers are also advised to incorporate certain seeds into their diets. The Cleveland Clinic suggests adding seeds like chia, flax, hemp, sesame, and pumpkin seeds because they have proved to have extensive health benefits. Overall, seeds are excellent sources of plant-based fats, minerals, and fiber. They also are loaded with minerals that matter most to baby boomers.
They are rich in calcium, which is essential for bone health. They also furnish the body with iron, an integral element used to manufacture proteins that help carry oxygenated blood throughout the body. Additionally, seeds are a rich magnesium source, a mineral that replenishes your brain, aids in bowel function, and helps in hydration. Lastly, seeds provide phosphorus, which plays various roles in our bodies, including filtering wastes and repairing cells.
Fish is a rich source of protein and a good meal to add at least twice a week to your diet. Opting for fatty fish such as salmon is particularly important since it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is loaded with Vitamins B & D, potassium, and essential minerals. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help get rid of triglycerides from the blood, reduce inflammation, and aid in the production of proteins that help destroy the plaques linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it’s a complete protein, meaning that it provides the body with all the essential amino acids. Consumption of salmon will provide your body with proteins, which are critical for maintaining and repairing tissues.
The need to be well hydrated only increases as we age. Body temperature starts to fluctuate as we age. It’s for this reason that baby boomers are advised to keep their bodies hydrated at all times.
Water is the best hydration choice, but there are alternatives. These include plain milk, unsweetened plant-based beverages such as rice, oat, and almond beverages, as well as unsweetened tea. Experts advise drinking six to eight glasses of water every day. Eating water-rich foods such as cucumbers, watermelons, and tomatoes is also helpful. However, having a water bottle nearby is the best way to ensure that you stay hydrated.
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