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Posted by The Woodlands on June 1, 2022

Maintaining proper nutrition can make a significant difference when it comes to healthy aging. Fortunately, many delicious foods can help you achieve this goal!

At The Woodlands at Canterfield, we focus on providing nutritious and enjoyable meals for residents. We believe that a healthy diet should be enjoyable, so our West Dundee senior living team is sharing some healthy foods to add to your next meal.

By adding these delicious ingredients to your diet, you can ensure that you gain all the health benefits they offer.

Eat Lean Meats & Fatty Fish

Consuming enough protein in your daily diet is important for maintaining healthy muscles and bones. However, eating too much red meat and processed food such as bacon can increase inflammation as well as your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Instead of focusing on red meats, try lean chicken. Even better, fish such as tuna and salmon provide massive benefits. Not only do they provide ample amounts of protein, but they are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These are good for heart and brain health. 

For your next meal, consider switching out the higher-fat red meat for a lean cut of chicken or salmon!

Make a Rainbow on Your Plate

One easy way to ensure you are eating enough healthy fruits and vegetables is to create a rainbow on your plate. Dark blue and purple fruits like blueberries are full of antioxidants and healthy vitamins, while leafy greens feature vitamin K and various minerals that can reduce inflammation and boost brain health.

Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons can be added as a dressing to a fresh salad or simply cut and placed in a glass of water to provide an extra serving of vitamin C. 

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to fruits and vegetables, so be sure to add these to every meal to increase your vitamin and mineral intake.

Drink Water Regularly

One of the most important ways to promote healthy aging is also one of the most overlooked. Drinking enough water each day aids in digestion, flushes bacteria from your system, protects your organs and tissues and so much more. 

According to the National Council on Aging, “As a general rule, you should take one-third of your body weight and drink that number of ounces in fluids. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink 50 ounces of water each day.”

Ensure your day gets off to the right start by drinking a full glass of water every morning. Another easy way to guarantee you are drinking enough water is to incorporate foods that are high in water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and celery.

Avoid (Most) Processed Foods

Whenever possible, it is better to choose fresh ingredients rather than processed foods. An easy way to achieve this goal is to shop for groceries on the outside edges of the store, where most supermarkets keep their produce, fresh meat and bakery departments. By sticking to the outside, you will find food that is fresher and better for healthy aging.

However, some foods are considered processed but still provide health benefits. When consumed in limited quantities – and in combination with other fresh ingredients – these foods can positively impact your health. 

Some lightly processed foods that offer health benefits include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Canned beans
  • Cereal fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Tofu
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables

When in Doubt, Turn to “My Plate”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a helpful graphic called My Plate for additional resources, shopping lists and meal-planning guidelines. You can use this educational tool to determine the dietary guidelines that fit your needs, as well as learn how you can incorporate more healthy foods into your meals.

At The Woodlands at Canterfield, we are committed to helping older adults enjoy happy and healthy lives. By adding more nutritious foods and beverages to your daily diet, you can experience delicious meals that taste great and are great for you! 

Visit our website to learn more about healthy aging and The Woodlands at Canterfield, our West Dundee senior living community.

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