Whether you’re 68 or 86, eating well as you age can become a challenge. From decreased sensitivity to nausea from medications and a limited income, there are many reasons that seniors have trouble getting the right balance of nutrition. It is not impossible, however, to overcome obstacles and eat well regardless of your age. Read on for a few tips.
Spice Things Up
A diminished sense of taste and smell is common among older adults. This means that food you once loved may taste bland and unappetizing. However, with a bit of creative seasoning, you can learn to love your favorites all over again. Adding things like ginger, turmeric, and rosemary to everyday dishes not only adds a boost of flavor, but many spices also provide additional health benefits. Turmeric, for example, can help reduce inflammation related to arthritis.
Shake It Up
Adding spices to make your food taste better is just one way to intake more nutrition. You also have the option of creating protein-packed smoothies using fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and, of course, protein. As an added bonus, smoothies are typically made with ice, meaning the right mixture can easily taste like your favorite milkshake without the sugar and guilt.
Elevate Your Electrolytes.
Electrolytes are not just for athletes. According to Cedars-Sinai, electrolytes, which are vital minerals, regulate muscle contractions, help you stay hydrated, and even play a part in nervous system function. They are lost as we go about our days, especially when we sweat or get dehydrated. Add an electrolyte supplement to restore your internal balance. These are available in powders, tablets, and other digestible forms online and at your local drugstore.
Celebrate with Superfoods
Every morning we wake up is a reason to celebrate. What better way to commemorate each day then by feeding yourself superfoods. However, don’t let the name fool you; superfood does not mean a super price. As Eating Well clarifies, things like herbal tea, tuna, peanut butter, and eggs cost just pennies per serving. Many of the most popular health foods can be combined to create a hearty, healthy meal that will easily fit into any budget.
Take a Cooking Class
Sure, you know how to cook, but there is a good chance that you’ve stuck to certain selections of meals throughout your entire life. While there’s nothing wrong with pot roast, meatloaf, and roasted chicken for dinner, there are so many other styles of cooking that can open up your paletta and help you find creative ways to make the most out of every meal. Classes are available online, often for free. And depending on where you live, you may be able to audit a college course on nutrition at no cost to you.
Why Nutrition Matters
Eating well is the best way to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals your body needs. This is something to keep in mind, especially as you enter your 60s and beyond, because eating the right kinds of foods and in the right quantities can help reduce blood pressure and lessen your risk of things like osteoporosis and heart disease. Seniors should shoot for a variety of foods and steer clear of empty calories (think potato chips, sodas, and candy). Fortunately, there are many ways to eat well without sacrificing flavor or overstretching your income.
Remember, food does not have to be expensive to provide a full range of nutrition. And there are ways to boost flavor so that foods you consider bland now are more appealing. A final piece of advice: Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re having trouble eating — they can give you a full examination to identify and rectify any potential issues.
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From our friend Hazel Bridges