Eating for a healthy, balanced diet helps keep your body strong, your mind sharp, and your energy level up as you age. So put five types of food below in your supermarket trolley every week.
- Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
It is recommended to look for the most colorful produce. “The darker the red, the deeper the green, the more yellow, the more orange — they’re the foods that have function.”, says Diane Stadler, PhD, RD, a research assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
Their natural color means they’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Stadler suggests blueberries, red raspberries, dark cherries and recommends choosing the darkest reds and deepest greens, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. You can have them all year as frozen fruit and vegetables can even be healthier, with higher levels of vitamins and cancer fighting antioxidants, than leafy ‘fresh’ produce.
According to Stadler, diary is an especially important food group for people as they age. “Calcium needs are high and they stay high, and you can’t get any other foods with as much calcium as dairy.”
Dairy milk has long established itself as a rich source of calcium, containing approximately 300 milligrams of calcium per 8-ounce serving. Dairy’s also provides you with a great amount of vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones. Many people don’t get enough of it, and as getting older, being outside seeking to increase vitamin D levels becomes harder.
Follow a diet with low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Whole Grains
Eating more whole grains is an easy way to add a layer of “health insurance” to your life. As a good source of B vitamins, they are also packed with fiber.
It is very easy to find whole-grain foods and many of them come ready to eat. Whole grains is said to be able to cut pre-diabetic conditions, decrease body fat, reduce stroke risk, lower the risk of many chronic diseases and much more.
- Lean Protein
Many foods can provide you with the protein you need, like fish, poultry, meat, beans, legumes, nuts, and dairy products.
If you choose to eat meat, try to stick with leans meats such as skinless chicken and turkey breasts. “If you can see a layer of fat, it is saturated fat and associated with bad cholesterol,” Stadler says.
You should also avoid gargantuan portions. Stadler suggests visualizing a deck of cards when having a serving of meat. If more than that is on your plate, she recommends boxing it up to eat later or taking it off your plate before you begin eating in order not be tempted.
- Fish With Omega-3s
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel provide a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight the bad cholesterol that tends to build up as we age. According to Stadler, to meet your omega-3 requirements, eating two servings of fatty fish per week. Canned salmon is an ideal choice as it is often loaded with some edible fish bones, adding a calcium boost.
In order to maintain good nutrition when you get older, use this list as a guide toward a healthier eating lifestyle.