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Senior Health: 7 Tips for Healthy Eating

A senior couple prepares a meal together

 

Maintaining a nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being, especially for seniors. At Monroe Village, we understand the unique dietary needs of older adults and are committed to providing expert advice to help our residents stay healthy and vibrant. Here are 7 essential healthy eating tips tailored specifically for seniors to support a balanced lifestyle and enhance their quality of life.

 

1. Seek Out Power Foods

Eating a variety of nutritious foods every day will help keep both your body and mind running smoothly, while also helping fight against chronic diseases. Keep the following list in mind and seek out these foods when you’re shopping or dining out.

    • Berries: with blueberries at the very top of the list
    • Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
    • Leafy greens: spinach, kale, and collard greens
    • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds
    • Olive oil
    • Avocados
    • Yogurt or kefir: optimally lower in sugar and high in probiotics
    • Whole grains: oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice
    • Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies
    • Garlic and onion
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Legumes: lentils, peas, and peanuts
    • Eggs

2. Plan Your Meals Every Week

The best intentions are only as good as the execution. Planning meals helps to increase the amount of healthy recipes and foods that you’ll consume. Plus, it will be easier to stick to a nutrition plan when you map out your week’s meals ahead of time. You can start small, like planning healthy snacks or lunches, and grow from there. Maybe swap that bag of chips for a handful of nuts. Or trade in your afternoon Coke for a sparkling club soda with a splash of juice. Small incremental changes often stick better than a drastic overhaul of your diet.

3. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial to maintaining good health, particularly for seniors. As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes, making it easier to become dehydrated without realizing it. Drinking enough water is vital for various bodily functions, including digestion and temperature regulation. Being dehydrated causes a significant risk to senior health that can make joints hurt, zap energy, and even give you headaches. Committing to staying hydrated will result in feeling better — and having the energy to move more.

4. Consult a Registered Dietician Nutritionist

Consulting a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can help merge what you already know about healthy eating with your lifestyle. Have trouble making good choices when dining out? An RDN can steer you toward the best restaurants and the best choices. Do you prefer meals that are easy to make and clean up? Here, too, an RDN can expertly guide you in the right direction.

5. Consider Using a Meal Delivery Service

When cooking for only one or two people, a meal delivery service can be a great option. HelloFresh, which has sent over one billion meals, is the biggest meal delivery service in the world. You choose your meal plan from various options like “meat & veggies,” “under 20 minutes,” and “pescatarian.” You can then choose the number of people who will be eating and select how many days a week you’d like to have meals delivered. Next, you pick specific meals and are delivered kits with everything you need to prepare meals like Creamy Caramelized Onion Meatloaves, Buttery Scallops and Parmesan Spaghetti, and BBQ Cheddar Pork Burgers. Prefer just to heat up instead of cook? Options like CleanEatz Kitchen deliver prepared meals right to your door. 

6. Learn skills to Create Tasty Meals

Learning a few cooking techniques can give you the skills to make a variety of healthy meals. Keep healthy ingredients on hand and try new foods in the comfort of your own home., don’t forget about YouTube, where you can find quick and easy tutorials on cooking just about anything. Here, for example, is Ina Garten making a Salmon Nicoise Platter, which combines six power foods — salmon, garlic, leafy greens, anchovies, eggs, and olive oil.

7. Get Enough Protein to Maintain Muscle

Muscle loss is one of the major threats to seniors living independently, which is why consuming enough protein is important as we age. Experts in the field of protein and senior health, however, recommend a much higher protein intake of between 1.2 and 2.0 per kilogram of body weight for those over 65. Using that standard, a 150-pound older adult would need between 81 and 136 grams of protein a day. Practically speaking, that looks like 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (18 grams), 2 eggs (12 grams), 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (7 grams), 3 ounces of chicken (27 grams), a cup of milk (8 grams), and 3 ounces of salmon (19 grams). That equals 91 grams of protein. It’s easy to see how, without making an effort, older adults could fall short of that goal. 

Senior Health at Monroe Village

Monroe Village is an all-inclusive continuing care retirement community in New Jersey focused on a healthy lifestyle. With events and amenities offered through LivWell, our holistic wellness program, you can boost your health while being a part of an active community. Our heated indoor pool, fitness center, walking paths, and healthy onsite dining options make it easy to reach your goals while enjoying everyday life. Contact us today to learn more.

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