Mature Years – Stay Healthy!

To enjoy life to the full in the mature years, the mind and body should be in tune.

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Healthy eating and nutrition in the mature years are important for maintaining well-being and the ability to carry on enjoying life as normal.   As we age the body will lose bone and muscle and gain fat when the hormones begin to slow down.  There are many dietary factors which need considering.  The information below is a guide to the basic requirements needed to encourage a healthy lifestyle and keep the physical and mental components of the body mobile and strong.

Protein

Protein is an essential part of the diet.  It promotes a healthy immune system and prevents muscle waste.  Since energy levels reduce as we age, it is advisable to make sure there is enough protein in the diet.  Foods like eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, soybeans, lean meats, poultry, and fish, all contain protein.   Meat and cheese that contain high-fat content should be consumed sensibly.

Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetables whether frozen or fresh, especially the dark leafy green types are a wonderful source of minerals and nutrients that support the body’s system.  Fresh fruit rather than tinned because tinned has sugars.   

Fluid Intake

Fluid in the body decreases with age and dehydration could easily take root.  Increasing fluid intake will counteract this.  Drinking water will replenish the system, supply an energy boost and will help to keep the skin looking good.  There are some nice teas that do not require milk or sweeteners such as lemon and ginger, chamomile, peppermint, rose etc.  These teas are a refreshing change and chamomile before bed is ideal because it is a natural slight sedative. Ginger is good for the digestive system and so is peppermint. There is a variety of teas that have health benefits and if you want to make your own they are easy to prepare.   

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy.  You can find carbs in bread, cereals, pasta, and in fruits like apples, blackberries, grapefruit and lemons, these types of fruits are healthy carbohydrates.  Other healthy carbs include whole-grain products such as brown rice, whole-grain pasta, beans, whole wheat bread, whole oats, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, whole-grain barley and whole-grain corn.

Some unhealthy carbs are white bread, white pasta and table sugar.  Refined foods, such as bagels, pastries, crisps and potato fries.  

You can limit fat by choosing lean meats, plain fish and keeping dairy products to a minimum.  Cooking methods can help by grilling foods such as chops, sausages and bacon because their natural fats will drip into the pan.  Use olive oil sparingly or the 1 calorie spray type to roast potatoes etc.  

Exercise

Joining an exercise group or buying a video to use at home will keep the muscles supple, and bones strong.   Tai Chi is a very popular form of gentle exercise with a difference, this helps to keep the muscles supple and is beneficial for balance.    You can buy videos for beginners or consider joining a group.  There are a variety of exercise classes for over 60’s and it’s a good way to meet new people.  If there is a disability find out from your local council if there are any exercise classes for disabled people in your area.  

Staying Sociable – Mind and Body

Remaining socially active in senior years is vital for mind and body.  It is best not to totally rely on families such as son’s and daughters for company especially if they are both working with young children.  Life for young working couples is very fast paced in this modern world and it takes a lot of energy and time to balance work and family life. They will also want to spend time together as a family.  Perhaps offering to have a grandchild for a few hours at the weekend would give the parents a breathing space and a rest after a hectic week and grandkids can be really good company and fun.    

Hobbies

Taking up a hobby is an excellent way to keep active, and continue to stay sociable.  Staying at home, and rarely venturing outdoors; especially if living alone, is not healthy for the mind because this could lead to depression.  If fit enough, having a small dog to look after will be company and man’s best friend needs taking for a walk!  

Enjoy the mature years, keep the mind and body in tune and stay healthy!

© Jan Horner

[Featured image: Pixabay]


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