Nutrition tips for healthy aging
As you age, you may hope that you can do so healthfully to be able to continue your activities of daily living and spending time with friends and family. While certain genetic factors are out of your control, focusing on lifestyle factors including diet and exercise is the best way to promote healthy aging. Certain vitamins can become more difficult for your body to absorb as you age, and your muscle and bone density can begin to decline.
To provide your body with the nourishment it needs to function at its best, make sure you are including these vitamins in your diet:
B12. Adults over 50 years old can have trouble absorbing vitamin B12, which is vital for the development of red blood cells and DNA, and maintaining healthy nerve function.
Food sources of B12: eggs, lean meats, seafood, fortified cereals, milk and yogurt.
Calcium. As you age, your body needs more calcium to maintain bone health and protect you from fractures and the development of osteoporosis.
Food sources of calcium: low-fat or fat free dairy products, fortified cereals and breads, dark leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
Vitamin D. Also crucial for maintaining bone health, vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut—so these vitamins go hand-in-hand. Vitamin D is also thought to promote mental health.
Sources of vitamin D: Sunlight is one of the best sources of vitamin D. If possible, try to get outside for at least 10-30 minutes midday for a daily dose of vitamin D. Foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish, such as trout or salmon, eggs and fortified cereals and milks.
In addition to these vitamins, physical activity and a healthful diet are crucial in protecting bone health, reducing risk for chronic illness, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, promoting mental health and preventing fractures and falls. When it comes to exercise, at least 150 minutes per week is recommended along with weight bearing exercise at least twice per week. For diet, focus on fresh, whole foods that you love. Emphasize fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to prevent constipation, promote healthy blood pressure and reduce risk of certain illness.
Start using real nutrition science to maximize your health, fitness & happiness with food! And, your health insurance may cover your nutritional counseling sessions at NO COST! Contact our registered dietitians at our Bala Cynwyd Fitness Center or Feasterville Gym to learn more.
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