At Autumn View Gardens, residents enjoy many amenities, including restaurant-style dining with daily from-scratch specials. Whether you enjoy this dining option or eat on your own, paying attention to your nutrition as you age is important. Your needs change, from dietary needs based on medical conditions to a slower metabolism. Follow these easy nutrition tips that you can implement at mealtime to support your health.
As you get older, you might have dietary restrictions based on your health conditions. You might need to cut back on salt, for instance, to support your heart health. Even if you're not specifically on a low-sodium diet, cutting your salt intake can benefit your health.
If you're used to reaching for salt to flavor your food, you might worry about your meals tasting bland. Fortunately, you have lots of options to add flavor to meals that don't involve salt. Experiment with different herbs and spices to jazz up your meals. Versatile options include paprika, oregano, basil, dill, rosemary and ginger.
You can use other ingredients to add flavor as well. Try citrus juice on protein and veggies to add a fresh, bright flavor. Fresh onion and garlic add bold flavor to many savory dishes. If you like heat in your food, try different hot peppers, such as cayenne or jalapenos. Vinegar is another strong flavor to try. You can find flavored vinegar options to change up the taste. Flavored olive oil can also infuse your food with flavor while you're cooking.
Balancing your plate is important at all stages. A good guide is to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. If you're coming up short, choose more produce when you eat your meals. Having precut fruits and veggies on hand for snacks and to add to meals can make this easy. You don't have to do a lot of prep or plan ahead because they're ready to go. You should also include lean protein and whole grains on your plate. For an easy balance, split the remaining half of your plate between your protein and grains.
It's easy to get into a rut with your meals. You might have favorites you eat all the time. However, adding variety keeps your meals exciting, and it's a good way to make sure you get a variety of nutrients. Try to incorporate foods of lots of different colors in your meals, especially fruits and vegetables. This helps you get a wide range of nutrients. Trying new healthy food options can help you discover different ways to get the nutrients you need. You'll also be more excited about eating meals if you have new things to look forward to. When dining at Autumn View Gardens, get adventurous and try different specials.
Getting enough fiber can help you stay regular as you get older. Whole grains are an easy way to get more fiber in your diet. Many fruits and vegetables also offer fiber, especially berries. You can also get more fiber by adding beans, lentils, nuts and seeds to your meals. You might sprinkle some sunflower seeds on your salad, for instance. Adding leafy greens, lots of veggies and black beans to the salad can also increase your fiber.
Eating a variety of food helps you get the nutrients you need. Seniors have some specific nutrients that are especially important for them. For instance, as you get older, your body often can't absorb vitamin B12 as well. This means you might need to increase your protein intake or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 to overcome that issue. Calcium and vitamin D are also important for older adults. You can take supplements to help you get the nutrients you need. Talk to your health care provider before taking supplements to get recommendations for what you need.
As you get older, your appetite might diminish. Eating with other people and turning meals into a socialization opportunity might help you eat more. Surrounding yourself with people who eat healthy foods can also encourage you to make healthier choices. Plus, it makes mealtimes more enjoyable. At Autumn View Gardens, the restaurant-style dining makes it easy to eat with your neighbors. You might also schedule weekly or monthly dinner parties with your close friends to keep in touch.
You might not think of water as part of nutrition, but it's important to stay well-hydrated. As you get older, you often don't feel as thirsty. Be intentional about drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Mealtimes can be a reminder to get in a little more water or other hydrating liquids. Always grab a drink to go along with your meals to help you stay hydrated. You can add lemon slices or other fruits to your water to add a little flavor if you don't enjoy drinking plain water. If you don't feel very thirsty, consider tracking your water intake. You can write it down or use a phone app to track how much water you drink.
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