Food is much more than what we eat when we are hungry. Our food choices and eating habits have a significant impact on our health, particularly as we age.
Eating fruits and vegetables is a great way to live a healthier life because they are low in calories and don’t add any weight or increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that can help prevent many chronic diseases.
Many of us are used to eating meals high in carbs. But cultivating the habit of consuming fruits and vegetables alongside other healthy eating habits is essential for seniors. Research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of death from heart disease and cancer.
This post covers some healthy eating habits that we can adapt to enjoy a long and healthy life.
Cut down the carbohydrates
Diabetes and high blood sugar are among the most prevalent conditions people face as they age. Many of us are wise enough to know that we should reduce our sugar intake as we age. But how about those carbohydrates we love to eat?
Many of our staple foods such as rice, cassava, yam, bread, potatoes, etc. all fall into this category. When carbohydrate is broken down in the body, the end product is sugar, which is also as harmful as consuming raw sugar. This is why we must be deliberate in reducing these foods and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Eat foods rich in fibre
Fibre is important for preserving a healthy digestive system and getting rid of excessive body fat. Your bowel movements are also more regular and healthy when you consume enough fibre. It’s easy to get constipation or experience other stomach issues if your diet is lacking in fibre and if you are fond of eating late at night. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and oats are examples of foods rich in fibre.
Take lots of water
You might not feel thirsty as soon as you should, as you get older, but ensure that you consume fluids regularly. You should drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
Things like juice, tea, soups, and even fruits and vegetables that are high in water content can all provide your body with the water it needs.
Eat fruits and vegetables
In order to stay healthy and active as a senior, you need to eat enough fruits and vegetables. This is because as you get older, your nutritional needs change. If you don’t get the nutrients you need, you could get chronic diseases, run out of vitamins, or be malnourished.
Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables
It prevents health issues
There are numerous advantages to eating fruits and vegetables, especially as you get older, because they are high in vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for reducing several health problems specific to seniors, such as high cholesterol, heart disease, bone loss, osteoporosis, and many others.
Fruits and vegetables like spinach, beetroot and banana can also help you to reduce the effect of a high sodium diet thereby lowering the risk of high blood pressure. They are also rich in Potassium which is an essential mineral that helps the heart beat at a steady pace, reduces blood pressure, and helps control blood sugar levels.
It improves skin quality
As a result of the aging process, the skin becomes less elastic as we get older. But, you can work wonders for your skin by drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest. Your skin will also look better if you eat fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, and avocados.
It fights memory loss
Eating fruits and vegetables also helps you maintain a healthy brain. Amazing, right? Alzheimer’s and dementia are less likely to happen if you eat vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and fruits like blueberries. These also contain folate and antioxidants, which are essential to boosting your brain and memory.
Boosts the immune system
Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of Vitamin C which is an essential vitamin that boosts immunity. As we age, our immune system weakens, which is why we must consume enough fruits and vegetables to boost it. Fruits like oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, tangerines, grapefruit, and strawberries have a high amount of vitamin C in them.
If you lack the appetite for raw fruits and vegetables, you can choose to make them into smoothies which is another enjoyable way to consume them.
Choosing to eat fruits and vegetables consciously is one of the best decisions you can make to maintain a healthy life as you age. In the famous words of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
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