7 habits that can help you age well – From Precision Nutrition – Habit 2
Over the next several weeks I will be sharing with you “7 habits that can help you age well” as outlined by Dr. John Berardi and Jennifer Broxterman:
Luckily, we now have research on the specific factors that can help you live a healthy, enjoyable, meaningful life, longer.
In a variety of large-scale population studies, these seven lifestyle habits are consistently correlated with lower disease rates, better mood and well-being, and increased longevity.
The earlier you start, the better, but these habits can make a difference no matter your current age.
Practice these habits consistently, and transform the experience of aging.
Habit 2 – Eat healthy meals
The foods we eat literally make up our bodies. If we are missing important nutrients, our bodies are more vulnerable to damage or illness.
Although all nutrients are important, two get are critical during the older years:
- Protein is especially crucial because it helps to preserve valuable lean tissue (muscle and bone). Higher lean tissue reduces frailty, falls, and fractures, all of which are associated with poorer quality of life and earlier death.
- Antioxidants are like the body’s defense team. Aging is partly due to an accumulation of daily attacks from free radicals from pollution, household chemicals, too much sun, or lifestyle habits like smoking, eating lots of processed foods, or excessive drinking.
Antioxidants protect our body from free radical damage, and slow down the aging process. With a regular supply of antioxidants through wholesome meals abundant in colorful plant foods, we’re less vulnerable to cataracts, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.
Aim for five servings of vegetables and fruits a day — and choose a variety of colors! Different colors (red, purple, green, orange, etc.) often relate to different nutrient compounds, so the more colorful the “rainbow” you’re consuming, the more nutrients you’re getting.
Common challenges seniors face with eating healthy
Poor appetite can lower food intake and the enjoyment of food: This may be caused by medication side effects, illness, or nutrient deficiencies. If a person has frequent digestive upset, they may be (understandably) resistant to trying new foods or eating anything that has triggered them in the past.
The individual may have dentures or weak teeth: If dentures are ill-fitting (this can happen after extreme weight gain or loss) or teeth are weak, it can be difficult and painful to chew.
It might be harder to shop for or prepare food: Frequent obstacles include trouble walking, carrying groceries, or holding a knife steady due to shaky hands.
Energy or mood is low: Fatigue, anxiety, or depression can make it challenging to find motivation to prepare meals. Elderly living alone and eating in isolation are especially vulnerable.
Many older individuals no longer have an income: That means the highest quality foods may not be accessible to them.
Certain generations may carry strong ideas about nutrition: For example, some may habitually avoid fats, feel they must “clean the plate”, or believe in dessert after every meal, because that’s how they grew up eating.
Action steps that can help
- Prioritize consumption of whole foods to increase nutrition. These include fruits and vegetables, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Focus on soft, well-cooked, or pureed / blended foods. Try scrambled eggs, poached fish, mashed vegetables, avocado, yogurt, smoothies, and soups, which are easier to digest.
- Try food supplements. Protein powders, green powders, fiber powders, and fish oil can be useful for increasing nutrition.
- Aim to create balanced meals. These should have a protein source, a colorful fruit or veggie, a healthy fat, and a quality carbohydrate at every meal.
- If budget allows, sign up for a grocery or meal delivery service. This can make food preparation much easier.
- Choose quick and easy to prepare foods when grocery shopping. Opt for pre-made high quality soups, pre-cut fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, or pre-cooked proteins.
- Don’t forget pleasure. Look for ways to increase enjoyment while eating: Choose foods that appeal; set the table with nice linens, silverware, and flowers; eat slowly and savour food; and allow small treats if desired. A small bowl of hazelnut gelato after dinner a couple times a week makes life just a bit more delicious!
Fit for Life Class – Monday, September 11, 2018
A) Goblet Squats 5 sets of 8 reps
B) Burpees 5 sets of 3
C) Alternate arm hammer curl 5 sets of 5 each arm
In partners, Complete 3 rounds of:
1 shuttle run/ walk
Rest while partner completes their round
Then, In partners, complete 3 rounds of:
Rest while partner completes their round