How nutrient-rich foods are the cornerstone to wellbeing
By Ross Sellers
The benefits of a healthy and balanced nutritional diet and lifestyle are well known for any age group. However, for seniors maintaining healthy eating habits is even more imperative. Unfortunately, many of our parents are being affected by poor diets that aren’t rich in the nutrition they need. As Michael Medvig, a leading expert in the field of nutrition in Centennial, Colorado, pointed out, healthy nutrition is key to long-term disease prevention … and it is especially critical for seniors.
Eat Nutrient-Rich Food
With that in mind, it’s important to remember that many individuals do not make the right choices when it comes to eating habits. Typically, this is a result of long-developed habits and a lack of knowledge on the important nutrients to incorporate into their diet. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your parents get the nutrition they need. “A safe place to start is by making sure your parents are getting protein, omega 3 fats and fiber in their diet,” Medvig says. Preparing meals rich in these foods will also help to improve your parents’ lifestyle because research states over and over again that eating nutrient-rich foods will improve the quality of your life, Medvig says.
Foods for Feeling Better
Your parents may struggle to find the energy they need to be active and enjoy their lives. However, this isn’t generally a result of age as much as it’s a result of unhealthy eating. Many foods cause an unnecessary amount of inflammation, and the biggest cause of disease in the body is inflammation; if your parents work on controlling inflammation, they may be able to get off medications and feel better, Medvig says.
Foods that cause inflammation are dairy products, grain-fed meats, sugars, refined grains and saturated fats such as vegetable oils and oils heated for fried foods. Limiting the consumption of these foods for your parents is imperative to their health and will help them find the energy to stay active and healthy. And, as Medvig noted, “The most important thing is to keep moving. Being sedentary dulls the mind, and makes any disease worse.” It’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle is not only a result of focused eating, but also staying active. However, if your parents aren’t eating healthy, it may be difficult for them to find the drive to stay active.
Managing meals for your parents is not an easy task. By limiting the consumption of food high in saturated fats and inflammatory ingredients and increasing the healthy intake of important nutrients, your parents can find the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “Your body knows how to fix itself, all you have to do is give it the building materials,” Medvig says. Help your parents get the building materials they need to have a balanced lifestyle — and stay active — by giving them actionable steps to implement a balanced diet into their lives.
Don’t rely solely on supplemental beverages to keep mom and dad healthy. Here are healthy foods to incorporate into their diets:
- Protein: Lean meats such as turkey, chicken and fish
- Omega 3: Salmon, tuna, walnuts, soybeans
- Fiber: Fruits, vegetables, multi-grain bread, brown rice