Healthy eating can keep your body disease-free, keep your mind sharp and extend quality of life. Older adults with poor quality diets or who lack an appetite can end up malnourished and lose extreme amounts of weight. As we age it becomes more important that we eat a balanced and varied diet. It should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy, healthy fat and fluids. One thing adults do not need as they age is as many calories. Aging causes a natural decline in appetite. With less calorie intake, the quality of your diet becomes very important.
For healthy, older adults, the following nutrients are important:
-Calcium and vitamin D to keep bones and teeth strong
-Zinc for wound healing and good vision
Studies show a lot of older people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables; often the ones they do eat are lower in disease-fighting antioxidants.
Pick colorful fruits and vegetables: leafy greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, artichokes and oranges; these nutrient-rich options can decrease your disease risk.