I was always interested about how-what-why people are eating certain foods. But no matter how hard they try to eat right, good diets are often neglected and people just consume what it is in front of them.
I am often in the same place! But keeping in mind that this should not be the ‘usual’ is the key to getting back into balance.
No matter your age, a healthy and balanced diet gives you enough energy and controls your weight. According to U.S. National Institute of Aging, healthy eating will make you feel and be better by preventing some common diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Some common problems can make it harder for older adults to make smart food choices, however. The main issues is that as you age your body and life changes, there is a need to consume certain foods.
First among the challenges is the family budget. People with limited incomes cannot afford to spend a lot on food. A very interesting and helpful website is Iowa State University’s ‘Spend smart, eat smart.’ Just google it and you will find numerous ideas and recipes for inexpensive healthy eating.
In general, find out what is on sale and try to plan weekly accordingly. But do not avoid some more nutritious and more expensive vegetables such as oranges, peppers, apples.
Try to find local groceries directly from a farmer.
If you are alone, or live with only one person, you may not feel in the mood to cook – have you considered sharing meals with other people in the same situation? You may exchange leftovers or cook together for fun! Also, you can have some of your meals in a community center or a religious facility. In such cases, the issue may not be the budget but a matter of social and practical considerations.
Chewing, swallowing, and digesting food, especially vegetables, meat, and fruit, is very important. Check your dentures or visit the dentist if you have a problem.
If there is a problem with saliva and digestion, you may need to change your food combination and cooking techniques. For example an orange on an empty stomach may be a problem for you, but lentil soup will help you digest and absorb important nutrients, so pay attention to combinations.
The sense of smell and taste change as you age. Medication weakens them.
Drinking a lot of water with lemon juice, herbs like mint, and fresh ginger will make you feel and digest better. Try to have variety and try new foods. Do not overcook food because that tends to make them have less flavor. Steaming veggies for a while and adding herbs with olive oil and lemon juice will give you the most benefits.
You may be in a new phase of your life, so try to live well and make the best of it! Making a rapid change of your food habits will make you feel new!
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.