Eating your age: 10 tips to help you thrive

By Tara Mathis, RWC registered dietician

While acting your age is relative, eating for you age is certainly not. As we advance in years, our bodies change and so do our nutritional needs.

You can improve your health and decrease risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure with these tips:

  1. Limit foods that are high in saturated fats/cholesterol, including animal fat products such as cream, cheese, butter and fried foods, and fatty meats like bacon.
  2. Reduce sodium intake by cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt, purchasing salt-free broths and canned items, and limiting fried and processed food.
  3. Increase sources of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids (sardines, salmon, tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, Great Northern beans and kidney beans. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) are shown to reduce the risk of stroke too.
  4. Make lifestyle changes by reducing alcohol intake and smoking, which also helps to decrease risk of high blood pressure. However, red wine is full of antioxidants that protect against dementia. Just don’t overdo it.
  5. Eat five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and regulate blood pressure.
  6. Increase sources of vitamin B12 and iron (because of the body’s decreased ability to absorb them) by eating red meats and animal products, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, bananas, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, asparagus, starchy vegetables and legumes.
  7. Eat foods with antioxidants like beans, berries and nuts to support healthy cognition.
  8. Make sure you are getting vitamins C and E to lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, kiwi, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, berries and watermelon. Vitamin E is found in almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts.
  9. Get enough protein to decrease risk of injury. Protein foods include animal products, beans, nuts and fish.
  10. Watch your calcium intake to reduce hip fractures and restore bone mass. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, broccoli and fortified juices and cereal.

With a nourishing diet, you can equip your body for optimal health and combat changes that naturally come with aging.

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