Aging is inevitable, but you can keep your body and mind feeling young when you exercise and eat healthy foods. According to the National Resource Center on Nutrition, one in four senior Americans has poor nutrition. Eating a healthy diet is a crucial component to staying healthy in your golden years.
Whenever you eat healthy as a senior, you can improve heart health, enhance your mood, help maintain weight loss, and much more. If you seek motivation to change your diet, here are five reasons to eat healthier in your golden years.
1. Improve heart health
According to the American Heart Association, 70% of senior citizens between the ages of 60 and 79 have cardiovascular diseases, and around 66% of heart disease deaths occur over 75. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans, and you would assume with these statistics, seniors would do everything in their power to help promote a healthier heart.
Luckily, whenever you eat heart-healthy foods, you lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. Foods such as whole wheat products, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and seafood benefit your heart significantly.
2. Enhance mood
You can experience many mood swings in your golden years, which can come from pain, medical conditions, depression, or anxiety. There is evidence that what you eat can affect your mood considerably. Researchers believe this is due to how our bodies process bacteria in our gut, which interacts with our brain.
Serotonin is the chemical in your brain that boosts your mood. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. Therefore, if you are ever feeling down, try eating bran cereal or steel oats to help enhance your mood. Other foods such as kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, and almonds are excellent options in decreasing the feeling of depression and promoting a more positive mental health.
3. Improvement in memory
It’s normal to experience a cognitive decline in your golden years. However, there are certain nutritious foods can help combat a decline. According to AMADA Senior Care, researchers found seniors who ate the most nutritious foods lowered their risk of a cognitive decline by 25% compared to those who had the least healthy diets.
Studies have even found that certain foods, such as fish and blueberries help protect against dementia. Salmon and tuna are excellent in slowing down a mental decline. Whereas blueberries have been proven to improve motor function in your golden years, as well as improve short-term memory loss.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Research has shown that your metabolism slows down with age. If you are not physically active and eating healthy in your golden years, you might begin to gain weight. Being overweight creates health risk factors, such as heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes.
Eating a healthy diet helps maintain a balanced weight, which lowers your chance of those risk factors. In your golden years, you should steer clear of all processed foods, as well as added sugars. Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Have a healthy gut
Lastly, eating healthier in your golden years keeps you and your gut healthy. Having a balanced gut helps support weight management, improves mental health, boosts your immune system, and helps control autoimmune disorders.
Your microbiome changes whenever you age, which can link to disorders and even changes in your bowel movements. A healthy gut can help you become suspectable to infections and diseases. Foods that benefit your gut include yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, and any fiber.
These are just five reasons to eat healthier in your golden years. Overall, it would be best to eat a healthy diet for your mental and physical health. A cheat meal or candy bar is not going to hurt you. However, you will want to ensure your diet consists of healthier options to ensure you can be your best self and live out a long, healthy life.