The Importance of Nutritional Wellness for Older Adults

Proper nutrition can provide adults with numerous benefits: improved mental acuteness, a stronger immune system, increased energy and the ability to manage chronic health problems, among others. Eating well is the key to an emotionally balanced, mentally sharp, energetic retirement. However, it’s not always easy to make the proper choices for a well-balanced lifestyle.

Overcoming nutrition obstacles

Specific barriers crop up as we age, which can make it difficult to achieve balanced nutrition. Our metabolism decreases, our sense of taste and smell diminish, and our digestive systems begin to break down- all factors that can lead to an unbalanced diet.

As our metabolism decreases, it becomes crucial to choose nutrient-dense, low-fat, low-sodium foods that are high in fiber so we get the most mileage out of each meal.

In addition, emotional problems and certain medications can negatively affect our eating habits as well. That’s why the right approach to nutrition can be so crucial to overall wellness.

Consider what and how you eat

There are certain nutritional choices that every individual should consider when focusing on a healthy diet. These include:

  • Nutrient-rich foods with a moderate to low calorie and fat content
  • “Good” carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread
  • Plenty of raw fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins such as fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and tofu
  • Calcium-rich dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • “Good fats” from nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados

In addition to choosing the right foods, an inviting atmosphere and certain dining habits can also play a role in promoting proper nutrition. A healthy plate should be appealing to the eye and the palate. And dining with family, friends and neighbors can lead to a healthier appetite.

Lutheran SeniorLife’s residential communities offer several dining options that provide carefully selected menus and professionally prepared meals to promote healthful eating. These include bistro dining, meal preparation kits and delivery service.