Reading Time: 8 minutes
Everyone’s body changes as they get older and there is really very little that can be done to prevent some of those changes. By maintaining a balanced and sensible diet – with a few new tweaks – people over the age of sixty can however stay healthier and more active longer. Here are some common sense suggestions for eating well after your sixtieth birthday:
Maintaining the Basic Balance
No matter how old a person is maintaining a basic balanced and healthy diet is one of the biggest keys to remaining as healthy as possible. This means that your diet should certainly contain:
- Lots of Fruits and Vegetables – Anyone’s diet, whatever their age, should include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day but if you can include more than that it is a big plus.
- Starches – Whatever certain fad diet plans might suggest, you really do need to include starches like wholegrain bread, potatoes and pasta in your diet to help maintain your energy levels.
- Protein Rich Foods – Ideally the protein in your diet should come from a balance of dairy and non dairy sources like beans, lean meats and fish.
- Limit Fats and Sugars – At any age to many high fat and high sugar foods can lead to all kinds of health problems so you should keep the amount you consume to a minimum.
Let’s see what your body needs at Over 60:
Plenty of foods rich in starch and fiber
Constipation becomes a very normal issue at an older age. To avoid that, make up for body’s need for fiber. Eat a lot of fiber-rich foods that will keep your digestion good and prevent constipation and other digestive problems.
Iron is very important for the body’s strength and health. In case of deficiency of iron the blood gets thinner, the body starts feeling weak and the bones get weaker. That all sounds synonymous to old age problems.
All of that can be avoided if you intake the required amount of iron through your diet.
Include foods like:
- Beans and lentils.
- Baked potatoes.
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Fortified breakfast cereals.
- Whole-grain and enriched pieces of bread.
- nuts and seeds
- Dried fruit.
- legumes (such as peas, beans, and lentils)
In your diet. If you are non-vegetarian than it is even greater because meat contains more iron than anything.
- Lean beef
- Oily fish
At old age, the bones tend to get weaker. This makes them more vulnerable and you more conscious.
To avoid osteoporosis like situation tries to make your bones stronger and your body as well.
Start eating more and more of calcium-rich food. The most basic change that you can make to your diet includes a lot of dairy products in it. They are the greatest source of calcium:
Other sources of calcium are foods like:
- Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage
- Soya beans and tofu( rich in proteins and calcium as well)
- Sardines and Canned Salmon
- Beans and Lentils
- Tuna and catfish
Another simple way to start adding calcium to your diet is by eating calcium rich fruits like:
- Oranges and Tangerines
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Figs
- Prickly Pears
Vitamin D is important for bone health and in the prevention of osteoporosis.
As vitamin D is good for bone health, it is equally good for immunity and better nerve and muscle function.
In fact, a proper intake of Vitamin D keeps you away from diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
The most basic source of Vitamin D is sunshine. Yes, our body can actually absorb vitamin D from sun exposure. So, this could be one way to make up for Vitamin D deficiency. It is advised that a person should expose its body, arms legs, back to sun for around 10 to 30 minutes twice a week to medium sunlight.
Another option is to add Vitamin D to your diet, which can be done through foods like:
- Almond milk
- Orange juice
- Soy milk
- Dry fruits like walnut and peanuts
- Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
The body at an old age is more prone to losing muscle mass and that happens because of a deficiency of proteins.
Enough intake of protein is also required to supply o essential amino acids to stimulate protein synthesis lack of which may lead to protein in synthesis.
So to support good muscle health, a minimum amount of protein is required but having it in excess may not be good as well.
Protein is also good because it helps you feel full and that means no overeating and hence no over intake of calories and fats. This helps keep your calories in check and at the same time provides strength to the body.
So, consult a dietician and start taking proper proteins as required by the body.
The suggested rate is (0.8 g/kg/day) if you do not have any other issues. So, try including that much protein in your diet to keep your muscles healthy.
- Chicken breast
At an older age, the most common and generic of all the problems is that of poor immunity and a major reason responsible for it is lack of zinc in the body.
Zinc is required for growth and development of cells, protein and DNA synthesis and proper neuro-sensory functions. In that case, it becomes essential to include zinc in your diet to strengthen your body’s defense against diseases and make you stronger.
Good sources of zinc include:
- Meat and dairy products
- Oysters and red meat
- Whole grain cereals
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Nuts and seeds, and soy products.
You may also, take to zinc supplements to provide for the body’s need
Magnesium is required to boost muscle and nerve functioning as the body ages.
It is also essential for keeping the immunity rate higher and giving the body natural resistance against diseases.
The body is very much prone to cardio diseases but an intake of magnesium can keep it away from those risks to an extent.
- Leafy Green vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
- Fruit (figs, avocado, banana, and raspberries)
- Nuts and seeds (Almonds, Cashews, and Raisins)
- Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans)
- Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts)
- Seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
- Dried fruits
- Dark chocolate
- Brown rice
- Cereal (shredded wheat)
- Kidney beans
- Peanut butter
- Potato with skin
- Whole grain bread
As we age, our cognitive ability stars to decline. This is the worst that happens at old age. This makes the elderly dependent on others and creates other unnecessary problems.
However, there is no medically proven food that can help you prevent the situation but there is a nutrient’s which may help to keep the cognitive ability in place and that is Vitamin E.
So, at an older age, the person should start making Vitamin E rich food an essential part of the diet to avoid any such situation.
- Sunflower Seed
- Peanut Butter
- Pine Nuts
- Dried Apricots
Keeping the body deprived of fats is no good solutions. There are certain fats like Omega-3fatty acids and others which is an essential requirement of the body.
So, keep on providing those significant healthy fats to it, through foods like:
- Sunflower seeds
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole Eggs
- Fatty Fish
- Chia Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
So, the idea is to provide for all of the body needs with a more conscious and cautious approach. You have to be very careful and cautious of whatever you eat, in what quantity you eat and how you balance that consumption.
There has to be a proper balance of all the nutrients in your diet because even a subtle difference could affect your health adversely at that tender age.
Some more tips to stay fit over 60:
Keep yourself moving:
Try to burn more and more calories and keep yourself moving.
Inactivity is the worst you could do to yourself at an older age. Once you stop moving, you will stop moving forever.
There has to be some significant movement of the body that keeps it active in the long run.
Be mindful of what you eat and be sure you are doing enough activity to digest that and burn those calories. The workout does not necessarily have to be exhausting. The body is already weak and we do not suggest to put it through more.
Walk in the park:
All you need is to take a walk in the park, do some yoga or even some household chores, run some errands to not to put on weight to further increase your problems.
Being overweight increases your risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes so to keep those problems at bay, you need to take to some activities for body’s movement.
Being underweight is an equally big problem s obesity. This means that you are not eating enough and hence the body’s need for nutrients is not being fulfilled.
This may increase your problems and you will be inviting may more maladies. So, try to stay in good shape and keep your diet as healthy and rich as you can.
If your decreasing appetite is the problem then you must change your eating pattern.
You might not be able to eat the quantity of food you earlier used to have in a meal but that does not mean you have to eat less.
Break your meals:
Break your meals, divide them into smaller portions and eat as much as you can because it’s important to get all the energy and nutrients that your body needs.
Eat more small meals and snacks, and supplement it with fruits and salads which are easy to digest.
The body’s metabolism is already slow, so if you eat larger meals at larger intervals that may not help. You have to adjust according to your metabolism rate.
So, eating smaller portions at small intervals will keep your metabolism rate healthy.
Check for hydration-One of the conditions of old age, you may not be able to notice when you are thirsty. That does not mean your body’s need for fluids is any less. So, make sure you yourself give enough fluids to the body even before it asks for it.
Consume less salt
Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease or a stroke.
So, try keeping the quantity of salt low, but not as low to lead to low blood pressure.
- Increase your daily fluid intake as much as you can. All fluids including tea and coffee, juice, nimbu pani and soups counts in that. Also, drink more and more of water also.
- Switch to coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil as they have low cholesterol level so they keep your heart healthy
- When you leave home, always make sure you have certain snacks with you to keep you away from hunger. We suggest you must not eat outside as the body’s digestion is not as strong as before so you may not be able to digest certain heavy foods.
- At an older age, you should also avoid eating canned or tinned food which contains added colors and preservatives which are not good for the body.
- Probiotics – Add probiotics to your diet to help boost immunity, improve digestive and skin health. They keep your cholesterol level low, as well as fight gum disease and enhance weight control.