As you age, eating can assist in improving your mental awareness, energy levels, and ability to fight illness. Having a healthy diet can be your key to maintaining a positive outlook on life and ensuring you are emotionally stable.
Regardless of your age or your previous eating habits, it’s never too late to change your diet or improve the way you feel and think.
Naturally, as you get older your interests, priorities and eating habits will change, and your nutritional needs do too. However, it doesn’t matter if you are 25, 65 or 105, the importance of consuming a balance of different nutritional and nourishing foods remains crucial to your health and wellbeing.
In your 60s, the physiological and psychological changes that occur have a direct impact on your nutritional requirements. Your body becomes less effective in how it absorbs and uses the many vitamins and minerals you get from food. You might find that long-term use of prescription medication also has an impact on your ability to adequately absorb nutrients. As you get older, you might even notice your appetite diminish.
Problems with your digestion could arise. If you’ve suffered constipation, piles or diverticular disease you need to ensure you are drinking lots of water. It also helps if you remain active, which not only aids in relieving these problems, but helps your gut function in the way it should.
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Your sense of smell and taste changes are you get older, so avoid adding extra salt to your food. Instead use herbs, spices and other flavours like garlic, lemon, mustards or flavoured vinegars.
What should you be eating?
Fibre. You want to make sure you are eating fibre-rich foods like oats, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils. A glass of warm or tap water with a hint of lemon juice can kickstart your metabolism and also alleviate constipation.
Vitamin B12. Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and some breakfast cereals contain a certain amount of B12. B12 aids in helping you fight fatigue, weakness and impaired concentration.
Vitamin D. You can find a small amount of vitamin D in eggs and oil-rich fish. Vitamin D can also be made when sunlight hits your skin. Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and helps your body absorb calcium.
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You will also want to ensure your body is getting the right amount of healthy fats, which work to protect your body from disease and can support your mood and brain function.
If you’ve lost your appetite you might want to check with your doctor to determine if medication or something more serious is responsible for the dip in your appetite.
IF your chewing has become difficult, you could try drinking smoothies with fresh fruit, yoghurt and protein powder. You might like to steam your vegetables and up your intake of couscous, rice and pasta. It might also be worthwhile consulting your dentist to rule out any issues with your teeth.
If you can’t shop or cook for yourself (for whatever reason…) it’s worth checking out home delivery options from your local supermarkets. Many offer online shopping options and will deliver to your door. You might also want to ask a friend or neighbour to take you or shop for you.
Have you noticed changes in your eating behaviours as you’ve reached your 60s? Are you keen to maintain a healthy diet as you get older?