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Nutrition and Aging: What to Eat for Optimal Health

As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes that can impact our nutritional needs. For example, our metabolism may slow down, our digestion may become less efficient, and we may need fewer calories overall. However, despite these changes, it’s important to continue to prioritize good nutrition for optimal health and well-being.

So, what should we be eating as we age? Here are some key nutrients to focus on:

Protein: As we age, our bodies may become less efficient at utilizing protein, which can lead to muscle loss and overall weakness. To combat this, it’s important to continue consuming adequate amounts of protein. Good sources include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes.

Calcium and vitamin D: As we age, our bones may become more brittle, so it’s important to prioritize calcium and vitamin D intake to maintain bone health. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish and fortified foods, but it’s also synthesized by our bodies when we spend time in the sun.

Fiber: As our digestion becomes less efficient with age, it’s important to consume plenty of fiber to promote healthy bowel movements. Good sources include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Antioxidants: As we age, our bodies may become less efficient at combating oxidative stress, which can lead to inflammation and other health problems. Consuming adequate amounts of antioxidants can help protect against this. Good sources include brightly colored fruits and vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

In addition to these key nutrients, it’s also important to focus on overall dietary quality. This means consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods and limiting processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars.

As always, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet. However, by prioritizing these key nutrients and focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods, we can support optimal health and well-being as we age.


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