A balanced diet and good nutrition are important at any age, but seniors have even more specific dietary concerns when it comes to eating well to promote healthy aging. What you eat can have a big impact on how your body defends against the ailments associated with aging.
After 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid making it difficult to absorb vitamin B-12, which is needed to help keep blood and nerves vital. A short-term B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue and depression; a long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. Fish such as mackerel, smoked salmon, tuna and trout all provide more than the daily recommended value of B-12.
Dietary fiber does much more than just keep you regular. Fiber can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and boost your immune system and overall health. Fiber can even improve the health of your skin and help you lose weight. Power up on oat meal in the morning, snack on a bran cereal or granola bar, sprinkle bran on your hot cereal, or even add bran to your favorite muffin or cookie mix.
Broccoli is indeed one of nature’s miracle foods. Broccoli not only contains large amounts of vitamin A (needed for healthy vision), vitamin C (which keeps the immune system balanced) and vitamin K (essential for building strong bones and preventing heart disease), but it also helps the body better absorb crucial amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for seniors because it helps our muscles move, helps regulate cell growth, acts as a relay for the nervous system and helps the body fight infection.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related health problems.