Reaching the age of 50 is a major milestone for many people. This mark comes accompanied by many new changes in medical diagnostics and often brings new health-related signals that will be important moving forward.
Even if you have enjoyed 50+ years of good health, you’ve likely had to make some nutritional changes at some point. Gradual tweaks to your diet can make the difference between happy living and health issues. After all, it’s important that your golden years remain golden, so why not look into the small tweaks you can make to improve your health.
Start by scheduling a consultation with your primary nurse practitioner or a registered dietician. Smart eating does not have to be difficult or expensive. To help determine what nutrition your body needs, a clinical professional will conduct an assessment of your health and make recommendations.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different and that recommendations change based on a person’s age, fitness level, and unique health issues. That being said, these tips can still apply to all kinds of people who wish to be proactive about their health.
Reinforce Your Bones
As seniors age, bones become weakened due to the decrease in mobility and loss of important minerals. By increasing your Vitamin D and calcium intake on a daily basis, you can actually prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones from worsening. Foods such as orange juice, cereal, bread, and yogurt can promote your bone health. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, adding two to four tablespoons of nonfat powdered milk to any meal can help you reach your total daily recommendation.
Boost Your Energy
By the time most of us reach our fifties, we begin to notice changes in daily energy levels. This is normal to an extent, but a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals may also be to blame. You can ask your doctor for a Vitamin B test to see if you have a deficiency, which you can remedy with a daily supplement. To make sure your overall health is in good condition, you will still need to stay active and maintain a healthy diet, but Vitamin B12 supplements can do a lot to help.
Fill Up on Fiber
One common illness that is present in many seniors aged 50 or older is type 2 diabetes. Dietary fiber will help slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which can help decrease and stabilize blood glucose levels. Fiber plays an important role in aiding digestion, lowering your cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber can also help promote regular bowel movements. According to the dietary guidelines for Americans, males aged 50 and older should consume 28 grams of dietary fiber each day, and females aged 50 and older should consume 22.4 grams.
Say Goodbye to Salt
High blood pressure can be an important issue once you reach 50. One way to get started on solving this is to take away the table salt. From there, it’s a manner of avoiding foods with a high amount of salt. You can substitute seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and fresh herbs instead. There are plenty of low-sodium and sodium free alternatives that add flavor without adding to your cholesterol level.
While it’s normal to keep an eye on your weight throughout your life, seniors need to be extra cognizant. Look at the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) rules posted by the FDA to learn more about nutritional guidelines for seniors and keep in mind that amounts will depend on an individual’s body weight and body goals. For traditional, sedentary seniors aged 50+, it is recommended that men get at least 2,000 and women get at least 1,600 per day. The number should increase based on activity.
Nutrition boosters such as prebiotics and probiotics can help turn a slow digestion system into a robust factory line. These boosters enhance gastrointestinal function and calcium absorption. Additionally, prebiotic intake can be increased by ingesting foods such bananas, whole grains, garlic, and asparagus. Antibiotics can help treat Urinary Tract Infections, but they may also negatively impact the GI system. To maintain a healthy gut flora, eat foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Improve Immune Function
Inflammation can affect a number of different diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Since immune systems tend to weaken as we get older, researchers state that at least half of someone’s plate should consist of veggies and fruits for each meal. Healthy animal proteins like salmon, poultry, and whole grains should round out your meals.
Nutrient Enriched Smoothies
Smoothies can be a delicious and simple method for adding more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Smoothies are easy to create and easy to go down, with flexibility for what supplements you add. For example, you can use kale and spinach along with fruits such as apples and oranges. The combinations are endless and can be customized to suit any taste.
Promote Healthy Skin
Don’t take aging skin lightly. You can be proactive with Vitamins E and C to strengthen your skin. Excellent sources of Vitamin E include bell peppers, broccoli, kale, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Berries are a great source of Vitamin C. Include all of these in your diet and make sure to properly hydrate.
Being sure that you are eating properly and getting exercise can be hard, especially if you or your loved one is living independently. However, there are some options available to people who want to ease the burden on themselves or their loved one. At Landmark Senior Living, we offer our residents a number of amenities and features that can help to improve their health and quality of life. Feel free to reach out to our admissions team today to schedule a complimentary walk through of one of our assisted and independent living facilities.