A healthy, balanced diet is an important part of healthy aging for a senior. And if you or your loved one is considering moving to a senior living community, you might be curious about the dining options they provide.
Finding a community that provides healthy and delicious meals is part of choosing where to spend your retirement.
There isn’t a single food group that seniors should include in their diet. Rather, there are several a person should consider including that benefit the heart and the rest of the body. Carrots, nuts, berries, fish, leafy greens, and dark chocolate contain beneficial nutrients.
But what we eat isn’t the only thing to consider for living out our golden years healthy and happy. Stress reduction, staying active, and adopting healthy habits all play into a happy retirement; physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Heart Healthy Foods
No one wants to eat the same fruit and vegetable every single day. So, we’ve gathered several heart-healthy foods that seniors can consider including in their diet.
We’ve all heard the myths about carrots giving you better night vision. And while carrots do contain vitamin A and other nutrients to maintain good eye health, they also contain lots of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. Each of these things can improve your cardiovascular health.
Grapes, raspberries, and acai berries are a few of the berries that can benefit a senior’s health. Many berries are packed with vitamins and fiber that contribute to a healthy heart and weight. Additionally, some berries are great for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Adding a couple of servings of berries to your diet a week could be beneficial.
There are plenty of heart-healthy nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts are all good examples. The thing to be careful with is buying highly processed snacks. For example, many nuts are covered in salt or sugar to improve the taste. These are fine in moderation, but raw nuts with less sugar and salt are better for a snack you eat a lot.
Many types of fish, like salmon, tuna, or cod, are packed with healthy, unsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Doctors recommend at least two servings of fish per week. The benefits for your body include lowering blood pressure, reducing blood clotting, and risk of stroke and heart failure.
Bright, green leafy greens don’t just look beautiful on your plate. Evidence also suggests that consuming just one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables daily significantly lowers heart disease risk.
Pro tip: smoothies are a great way to get your greens! You should avoid juicing too much because you lose much of the valuable fiber. But you can pack a ton of spinach and kale into a delicious strawberry and banana smoothie.
Speaking of delicious desserts, what kind of healthy eating list would be complete without dessert: dark chocolate. It’s not as sweet as milk chocolate, so dark chocolate is not for everyone.
But for those seniors who enjoy a chunk of dark chocolate with their tea, the studies indicate it can be good for heart health. Many types of dark chocolate include a lot of flavonals, which are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease.
Other Healthy Lifestyle Choices
While diet is a large part of having a healthy retirement, it’s not the only thing you should consider with your health.
Tension, depression, irritability, and indigestion are all things that stress can do to a senior. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for reducing stress. It really depends on the cause of the stress.
Mindfulness exercises, chair yoga, and walking are good options. If you’re living in a retirement community, there are likely some community-organized options available.
Quit Smoking & Moderate Alcohol Consumption
It doesn’t matter why someone starts smoking or consumes alcohol. There’s no denying the negative effect that smoking and alcohol consumption have on our health, so quitting or minimizing it can only help as we age.
The CDC lays out some guidelines for the recommended amount of activity a senior should get in a week. 75 to 150 minutes weekly should be adequate, depending on the type of activity. Additionally, they also recommended that a senior include balance and core-building exercises throughout the week as well.
At Bethany Village, we believe we are body, soul, and spirit. Part of us is fed by food, and we’re made to be active and have relationships with others, but we need to feed our spirit to be healthy in a holistic sense. Our team is as committed to your spiritual health as we are to your physical and mental health.
Find Care that Supports You Holistically
Whether you’re looking for an assisted or independent living community, Bethany Village has options for you to consider. For nearly 80 years, our organization has grown and evolved to ensure we’re meeting all the needs of residents.
If you’re considering retirement communities in Dayton, contact us today. Book a community tour, and our team can show you and your loved all the healthy lifestyle options Bethany VIllage has to offer.