Aging

Healthy Eating for Older Adults

BY Ashley Stevens TIMEApril 12, 2022 PRINT

Our bodies go through a whole lot of wear and tear as we go about our daily lives, which leads to some challenging conditions during our golden years. We’re already predisposed to ailments thanks to genetics and our environment, but poor nutrition takes those risks even higher. The common diseases that come with age have some debilitating symptoms that nobody wants to encounter, so nutrition isn’t something we can afford to put off. Start reducing your risks for common aging problems today.

Arthritis

Our joints have a soft cushion of fluid and cartilage that keeps them moving smoothly and painlessly, but this cushion can be compromised by injuries, infections, and extra weight. As time adds to the wear and tear of our joints, the damage can grow and lead to the painful inflammation we call arthritis. There’s no known cure for the pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduction in strength and motion, so prevention is the way to go.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These critical fats offer your joints important lubrication that will keep them moving smoothly. Fry up your omega’s with some fatty cold water fish like mackerel, wild salmon, and sardines.
  • Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, and E and phytochemicals like ellagic acid, lutein and anthocyanin all serve as antioxidants. Meet your needs with colorful foods like berries, grapes, greens, sweet potatoes, and wash it down with some green tea.
  • Sulforaphane: This compound acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it’s showing big potential in the prevention and slowing of osteoarthritis. You can work the benefits of sulforaphane into your diet by eating cruciferous greens like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage.
  • Oleocanthal: This compound has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory that can actually help treat arthritic conditions. Get a spoonful from a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
Epoch Times Photo
Omega-3’s show promise in maintaining bone mass and helping us absorb calcium. (Brie Passano/TNS)

Osteoporosis

Our blood requires a constant level of calcium to keep clotting, pH, and muscle function where they need to be. The good news is that we have a supply of calcium our body can always rely on. The bad news? Those calcium withdrawals are coming straight from our bones. The worst news? Millions of people don’t even have a clue they’re at risk of osteoporosis until they’re suffering a broken bone. Rebuilding weak and porous bones is too little too late, so learn the basics of bone health.

  • Vitamin D: Calcium has gotten all the credit for bone health, but it’s thanks to Vitamin D that our bodies can absorb it. This is one vitamin you can’t source from food, so get yourself a supplement or a dose of sunlight.  
  • Vitamin K: Studies are showing that Vitamin K can help regulate calcium and form bones, and research in Japan suggests that it can increase bone mass and reverse bone loss. Get your Vitamin K from dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli.
  • Omega-3’s: On top of fighting the inflammation of arthritis, omega-3’s show promise in maintaining bone mass and helping us absorb calcium. Get a fish-free serving from walnuts, or hemp, flax, and chia seeds.

Dementia

When brain cells are damaged, the communication of neural networks are impaired. As this degradation spreads, regions of the brain responsible for things like memory, speech, and visual perception are no longer able to function properly. This degeneration of the brain produces the challenges of memory loss, hallucinations, and communication faced by dementia sufferers everywhere. The brain is the control center of our entire body, so there’s two dietary needs that shouldn’t be skimped on.

  • Omega-3’s: If there’s anything we’ve learned today, it’s that omega-3 fatty acids are a critical part of a healthy diet. Studies and stats show 3’s playing an important role in healthy, functioning, and developing brains, so grab a handful of walnuts (their shape says it all) for a quick fix of brain benefits.  
  • B-Vitamins: Science shows a strong connection between high levels of homocysteine and Alzheimer’s. B12 deficiency is another common factor in Alzheimer’s risk, making this a worthy dietary addition, but B-vitamins are also showing they can drop the levels of this concerning neurotoxin. B’s are mostly found in meat and fish, but nutritional yeast offers an astounding (and quick) B-fix.

 Eat Well and Live Long!

There are a lot of important factors contributing to disease, but now you have some easy and simple aids for prevention. Do you have your own tricks and tips for longevity and vitality? Share in the comments!

Republished from OrganicLifestyleMagazine

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Ash Stevens is a writer, mother, gardener, nutrition nut, and a fan of simple living. Her love for holistic health and wellness began with her journey into motherhood, and it’s grown exponentially ever since. She’s passionate about living a healthy lifestyle through gardening, cooking, and spending time outdoors.
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