Eating a healthy diet is as important now as at any time in your life. But it can get more challenging as you age.
Studies have shown that aging can lead to a decline in appetite, which is why older adults are often advised to consume additional protein and other nutrients. Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, can make it difficult to cook or prepare food. And financial constraints may limit your choices when you shop for groceries.
Your body’s needs change with age as well. For example, your metabolism slows down and muscle mass declines, so you likely don’t need to eat as much as you did in the past. However, you might need more calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health.
The good news is that many foods — some of which may already be in your diet — offer health benefits for seniors. Here are eight foods that are surprisingly good for you as you age:
- Beans and legumes
These foods are high in fiber, which helps with weight management and lowers cholesterol levels. Beans also contain folate and potassium, two nutrients that contribute to heart health.
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K and folate. They also contain lutein, which is known to help reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two eye conditions common among older adults. Avocados have a high fiber content, which can help prevent constipation.
Almonds are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also provide omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds contain vitamin E and magnesium, which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. They’re also a good source of protein and fiber.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants that help fight inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to many age-related diseases including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. Berries may also improve brain function in older adults and help protect against cancer.