As we get older, nutrition becomes increasingly more important for overall health and well-being. A healthy diet plays an essential role in supporting our bodies’ functionality and preventing many age-related illnesses. Here’s a look at common challenges to good nutrition for seniors, benefits of healthy eating as you age and how Country Place supports a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and superior culinary services.
Why Proper Nutrition is Difficult for Seniors
For some seniors, it can be very challenging to attain the proper amount of nutrients. Everyday tasks, like grocery shopping and cooking, can be a common struggle for older adults which can prevent them from consuming enough nutrient-rich foods. Similarly, appetite loss in your golden years can make eating less enjoyable and important. Over time, regularly missing meals can increase the risk of malnutrition that leads to health issues and poor quality of life.
When you think of all the planning and work that goes into preparing meals, it’s easy to see why many seniors aren’t getting enough nutrients in their diet. One of the biggest benefits of moving to a senior living community like Country Place is that residents have convenient access to nutritious meals prepared daily.
Tips for Eating Well in Your Senior Years
No matter your age or your current eating habits, it’s never too late to change your diet and improve the way you think and feel about food. You can take steps now to improve your diet and your health by:
Committing to drinking plenty of water.
Older adults should drink small amounts of water throughout the day to stay hydrated—around eight glasses! In addition to water, other liquids such as tea, coffee, soup, milk and juice are also great ways to keep your body hydrated. Try to avoid beverages with a lot of added sugar and salt unless your doctor suggests otherwise. Staying hydrated can improve digestion, keep joints limber and help you feel good overall.
Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods
According to the National Council on Aging, a balanced, nutrient-dense meal should consist of a lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Regularly eating a variety of fresh, wholesome foods will ensure you are providing your body with the proper nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong in your senior years.
Reading the nutrition labels.
One of the best ways to eat healthier and avoid foods that are bad for you is to read your nutrition labels. Eat whole foods when you can and avoid processed foods, such as cookies, candy and fast food. If you buy packaged foods from time to time, look closely at the ingredients to see how much hidden sugar, salt or saturated fat is in the foods you consume most often. Similarly, it is important to always check for expiration dates to avoid food-related illnesses.
Dining with friends.
When you make mealtime a social event, you can help promote healthy, routine eating habits while enjoying meaningful encounters with neighbors and friends. At Country Place, we encourage friends and family members of residents to attend mealtimes with their loved ones. It’s a great way for seniors to stay motivated to eat well while socializing, relaxing and staying healthy all at the same time.
Enjoy Nutritious, Delicious dining at Country Place
If you or your loved one are considering the move to a senior living community, pay attention to the dining services offered and the food options available to residents. At Country Place, our dining plans make it easy to maintain optimal nutrition. To learn more about how our community’s dining experience, schedule a tour, meet our staff and join us for a meal!