Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 -- With age, comes change and adjustment. It’s a fact of life. As my mom always said, ”moderation is the key.” As we approach, or accept (as the case may be), the senior phase of our lives, diet is an important consideration. Realizing that there are many variables and situations that dictate our intake of certain food groups, the following information is designed as a basis for understanding — and a goal towards — which we should all strive.
As we age, many of our ailments and conditions involve inflammation in our bodies. Depending upon our medications and overall health, a managed diet might be somewhat severe, but notice the inclusion of red wine and dark chocolate in the suggestions below! There is hope!
- Eat protein (skinless poultry and lean meat) sparingly 2-3 times/week
- Albacore Tuna — Troll or pole caught from U.S. or British Columbia. Look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label to ascertain how and where the fish was caught.
- Salmon (Wild caught)
- Oysters (Farmed)
- Sardines (Wild caught)
- Rainbow Trout (Farmed)
- Freshwater Coho Salmon (Farmed in US tanks)
Other Foods & Drink:
- Eat more veggies and fruits to bring color into your diet. Berries reduce inflammation and other damage related to memory and motor-function
- Drink plenty of water or diluted fruit drinks
- Avoid partially hydrogenated oil. Use olive oil or even butter rather than margarine
- Nuts, beans and avocadoes contain good fat
- Red wine…up to two glasses per day! Red wine contains resveratrol (a compound that may activate anti-aging genes). Alcohol in moderation is also known to protect against heart disease, diabetes and age-related memory loss Dark chocolate as a treat! The Kuma island people near Panama consume plenty of cocoa in a beverage form and they have heart disease rate nine times less than of their mainland counterparts! (Makes us hopeful!)
- Yogurt (low fat) can help your digestive system, but be careful of the sugar and fat content
- Eat more of whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and other vegetables
- Avoid processed foods, including fast food
- Minimize your intake of flour of any kind
- Avoid high-fructose corn syrup
- Eat less of all bread, white potatoes, crackers, chips, snack foods, pastries, and sweetened drinks
Iron in Women:
After menopause, be sure to eat healthy, iron-rich foods like lean meats, beans and leafy greens. However, if you take a supplement that includes iron, make sure it does not exceed 8 mg per day.
SAMe (S-adenosylmethinone; a multi-benefit supplement for healthy aging):
This naturally occurring molecule is found in all living cells, but decreases as we age. It is often used to fight depression but also benefits the liver and joints, and has been shown to halt and reverse various degenerative conditions, including osteoarthritis, neurodegeneration and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Its varied benefits have been well-documented.
- The EatingWell Media Group is a fast-growing communications company producing an award-winning national consumer magazine, high-quality food- and nutrition-related books, a content-rich website, e-mail newsletters, and serving content to strategic partners with other electronic media.
- Dr. Andrew Weil is an international authority on healthy aging and related topics. The text used in this article is Healthy Aging, A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-being.
Chuck Oakes is an aging-in-place specialist with two books on the subject of graceful aging. His latest book,"Your Home, Your Castle," can be purchased through your local bookseller or from Amazon.com. For more information, visit chuckoakes.com