When you were younger, you could eat pretty much anything you wanted and get away with it. With age, however, your body becomes a lot less forgiving. Living your best life after you retire largely depends upon how good your diet is. The right foods can help you look and feel younger and keep disease far away from you. So if you’re wondering how to give your diet special attention after you turn 60, try to include more of these six foods.
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains are an important source of nutrients and fiber. As you get older, your digestive system becomes less efficient. This means you’re probably not absorbing as many nutrients from the food you eat, you find it hard to digest many foods and you aren’t able to eliminate them properly. The fiber in whole grains is very important because it helps your body break down food and keeps you regular. This puts less stress on your digestive system and reduces your risk of colon cancer. Men should try to get at least 6 ounces of fiber a day, while women need around 5 ounces.
Leave the fat-shunning to your grandchildren, because you need a good amount of it in your diet. While some fats are undoubtedly dangerous for your health, unsaturated fats are not one of them. Fats found in coconut oil, avocado, nuts and olive oil are actually very important for you. Omega-3 fats have been seen to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, keep skin looking young and actually reduce the risk of heart disease. Try to get up to 35% of your daily calories from good sources of fat, but remember to keep it in moderation.
If you want to keep those bones strong and healthy, you need plenty of dairy. As you get older, your bones slowly begin to lose their density and become more porous. This makes them very brittle and prone to breaking. Women especially are in danger of developing osteoporosis because the sudden dip in their estrogen levels leeches calcium from their bones.To avoid this, make sure you get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, both of which are found in dairy. If you’re lactose intolerant, try yogurt (which is easier to digest) or fortified nut milk instead.
Protein is very important at every stage of your life and at 60, this is no different. One of the main ways your life changes as you get older, is that you aren’t as mobile as you were before. Because most older people don’t exercise as much as they should, their muscle mass begins to deteriorate, making them very weak. This is the last thing you want because it negatively impacts your independence and quality of life. Get plenty of quality protein sources every single day to make sure your muscles are as strong as ever. Try to get a mix of meat, seafood, legumes and nuts for a good variety of protein. Combine this with low intensity exercises to make sure your muscles don’t give in to age.
Vegetables should be the biggest part of every meal, but they rarely are. If your dinner plate is largely made up of meat and carbs with little to no veggies in sight, it’s high time you changed that. Vegetables are an important source of nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants in particular are very important because they prevent oxidative damage. Free radicals all around us try to attach themselves to healthy cells, causing diseases like inflammation, dementia and cancer. Try to eat multiple servings of colorful vegetables every day to make sure you’re getting a wide variety of antioxidants.
If you have a sweet tooth, try to use fruits as a natural, healthy way to satisfy your cravings. As you get older, your body’s ability to adjust to the effects of refined sugar become severely compromised. This is why a lot of older people suffer from diabetes. The sugar in fruit however, is offset by the high amount of fiber it contains. The fiber in fruit prevents sugar from being absorbed quickly and so it maintains a stable blood sugar level. Apart from this, fruits are also an incredible source of a number of anti-ageing antioxidants.