Eat for Your Age: The Best Foods to Keep You Active at 55+
Tips to Keep You Active and Young From One of the Best Retirement Communities in Texas
As we age and our metabolism slows down, the question of proper nutrition and food intake becomes even more important to stave off the impact of potential diseases and maintain our physical well-being.
Understanding what is healthy and what is not so healthy for our body takes study and research, as the food industry has dramatically changed over the past three decades. It’s particularly important for senior adults to maintain proper nutrition in order to stay active and healthy. From keeping your bones strong to promoting good heart and vascular health, there are many things to think about as we fuel our bodies to maintain an active lifestyle into our 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Below, our team at Larkspur at Shadow Creek shares some of the most vital things to keep in mind when structuring a proper nutrition plan.
Vitamins and Minerals
Most people in the U.S., but especially older folks, have significant vitamin and mineral deficiencies because of limited diet and the impact of certain agricultural factors. It’s vital that you either increase your natural vitamin and mineral uptake through food – such as organic fruits and cruciferous vegetables – or through dietary supplements.
One of the most important vitamins is D3, and during the COVID-19 crisis, most doctors have been alarmed at the correlation between significant vitamin D3 deficiencies in older adults and the severity of COVID-19 infection. Even if you’ve now received your COVID vaccine, this is an important correlation between diet and our body’s ability to fight off viruses and other infections.
Regarding minerals, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iodine are of vital importance in maintaining both physical and mental health. If you feel you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals through your food uptake, you can take high-quality supplements. Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider first before implementing a supplement regimen.
Proteins serve as major building blocks for our overall health. Healthy proteins come from a variety of sources, such as red meat (beef, lamb, bison), white meat (poultry), seafood (salmon, mackerel), eggs, beans, avocado, and tofu.
As always, it’s important to avoid commercial, factory-farmed beef or poultry, which are full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Your health will be best served if all the animal proteins you consume come from organic, grass-fed, natural sources.
Healthy Saturated Fats (In Moderation)
A significant problem in the current era is the high availability of oils and fats that are heavily refined and processed. In fact, these oils and saturated fats are one of the primary reasons for inflammation. Butter, coconut, olive, and avocado oils are bio-active fats that are good for your health and can be enjoyed in moderation.
You must remain hydrated throughout the day, both for healthy cell levels and for mental acuity. Make sure you drink the right amount of filtered water every day, which is anywhere from 6 to 8 glasses of water on average.
The Role of Sugar, Alcohol, and Carbs
Next to the list of excellent vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, and poultry, we must understand what makes up those compounds that are extremely difficult for our bodies to deal with and are the chief protagonists in producing inflammation.
A vitally important aspect of a healthy diet is to lower sugar intake, as sugar is one chief reason for inflammation of the gut and other areas of the body. We should also be monitoring our carbohydrate intake – carbs, next to sugar, have a significant impact on insulin spikes in our bodies. Alcohol is also difficult for our bodies to process, and much of it – even hard liquors – breaks down into sugar
The more we consume foods that break down into sugars, the higher our insulin resistance becomes. This ultimately leads to significant inflammation, which is the core ingredient in ailments from arthritis to diabetes and a whole range of other serious disorders.
For food purchases, it’s increasingly important to read labels and look at the way that food has been grown and processed, and note what types of sugar, growth hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives have been added to the food. The more processing that food has undergone, the more vital nutrients that have been removed from it, which in tandem with an increasing amount of GMO content (genetically modified organisms) can lead to inflammation and significant gastro-intestinal problems.
Another important aspect of overall dietary health is portion size. Overeating can wreak havoc on our bodies. Our gastrointestinal systems should not be overwhelmed by a huge intake of food – doing so can potentially take days to digest and will almost surely create significant discomfort.
The best approach is to concentrate on 2 to 3 meals per day, with moderate serving sizes and minimal snacking. The important gauge for our bodies is the feeling of satiation, which can best be reached by eating those foods that are minimally processed and nutrient dense.
We hope this article has given you enough ideas to super-charge your health through an age-appropriate diet. Larkspur at Shadow Creek is one of the best active living communities in Texas, and proper nutrition will help you maintain the active lifestyle you love so much.
Our emphasis is on independent living within a community of like-minded people in our Shadow Creek apartments and luxury cottages. When it comes to Pearland apartments, you won’t find another community as luxurious and with as many resort-style amenities as we have here at Larkspur. We are proud to have created one of the very best retirement communities in Texas and hope to see you at one point when you are evaluating your retirement plan.
Stop by and visit with us today, or contact us online, to take the first step toward the best chapter of your life!