Healthy eating is important for your mind, body, and spirit. A delicious meal can be a joy to prepare, and a delightful experience in a comfortable and vibrant setting. But did you realize that the right foods can also make you happier and more satisfied with life? Take a look at these unexpected benefits… they might just whet your appetite!
A recipe for happiness: 5 healthy eating tips for seniors
Your mom might have said this hundreds of times. Not surprisingly, she was 100% right, and scientists are on her side. Results from a study showed eating lots of fruits and veggies is correlated with a substantial gain in mental wellbeing, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), this is important for many reasons.
Vegetables and fruits are antioxidant-rich, fiber-full, nutritional powerhouses that fight infection, illness and disease while improving your overall health and wellbeing. In addition, these benefits can occur in a very short amount of time—months instead of years. So if you’d like to add some smiles to your days, add a piece of fruit and a vegetable to your plate.
When it comes to healthy eating tips for seniors, omega-3 fatty acids are stars! Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that fish was the single most important dietary factor in lowering the risk of cognitive impairment. Eating fish lowered the risk of both cognitive impairment and cognitive decline. It’s important to note that the omega-3 fatty acids also help maintain your heart health. In fact, The American Heart Association recommends eating at least one, but preferably two, servings of fish each week. Other benefits of eating fish include reduced risk of depression and improved sleep quality. That’s a few servings of happiness right there.
Flavonoids help boost your immune system so you can resist illness. In fact, research has found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids are less likely to get upper respiratory infections, or the common cold. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, as are tomatoes, onions, and red wine. Dark chocolate also has an antioxidant that can enhance your immune system, as do sweet potatoes, broccoli, and spinach. (Think about it, Popeye was always in a good mood.) Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber… all good ways to pump up your immune system.
Strong bones mean better balance, which makes you feel more confident, helps you stay active, and yes, can make you happier and more content. Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Good sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, or non-dairy sources such as tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale. And try to get as much of your calcium from your foods as you can, as your body can absorb calcium better that way (as opposed to supplements).
- Choose a social setting.
One of the most important healthy eating tips for seniors is to really enjoy your meal… the setting, the company, the variety of the menu. Lively dinner conversation can stimulate your mind and give you the benefits of socializing. Many seniors find that today’s senior living communities offer exceptional dining venues with menus worthy of fine restaurants.
Through the Savor culinary program at Clearwater Living, residents enjoy inventive, nourishing dishes made to order by onsite chefs and served restaurant-style in a comfortable, inviting setting. Diverse menus that change seasonally offer the flavors of the world and ensure that every palate can find something pleasing. In addition, multiple dining venues are available.
Eat better, have more energy, boost your mood, and feel happier inside and out! The Savor culinary program at Clearwater Living offers you an unsurpassed dining experience. Call the community nearest you today!