Today, our life expectancy and health are in jeopardy due to a number of factors. It’s important to take a few fundamental precautions to ensure continued health and opportunities for us to live a longer life.
Even in our older years, eating healthy foods may help us live longer. As we get older, we can go through several physiological, cellular, and psychological changes. Although many elderly people decrease their organ functions as well as metabolic activities, many of them do not show a decline when it comes to functional status because of age.
This difference has been directed to a distinction between “successful” aging and “normal” aging. “Normal aging” could reflect the lives of those who have poor fitness habits, which include poor diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of exercise along with other stress factors. Therefore, we can help ourselves age “effectively”, if we take into consideration many factors.
As a person ages, the body becomes less tolerant, and we have to make a greater effort to eat properly and stay in shape. Ideally, working on healthy eating habits everyday will ensure a longer lifespan. However, nearly all of us do not live in a perfect world, and often do not focus on our health until adulthood and beyond. But it is important to note that the prime of life is still a better time to begin to take health into consideration so that we stay healthier in the later years.
A ten-year research project of seniors showed that the present weight of an individual rather than their age identified the energy intake in men and women. One can live longer and healthier by ensuring their consumption of animal proteins, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and bad cholesterol is reduced with age. The research says that changes in our way of living over time, rather than age itself, leads to improved health that is noticed in the elderly population.
It is also important to lower the amount of overall calories one consumes as we get older. So, as an individual gets older, one needs to consume less calories, but precisely how much to eat still varies on how active an individual is. When an individual eats less food to keep up a healthy weight, that individual should be more cautious about selecting foods that are low in fat and rich in nutrients. As years pass, an individual loses lean body mass (muscle), the metabolic rate decreases and burning up calories becomes more gradual. Exercise and an active lifestyle are the best ways to keep up a lean body mass as well as speeding up the metabolic rate.
When it comes to mineral and vitamin requirements, even when one is in healthy condition, elderly patients may experience deficiencies of vitamin B6 due to lower intake and higher requirements, folate and vitamin B12 resulting from low intake and malabsorption and vitamin D because of exposure to less sunlight. Consult with a physician or nutritionist who specializes in the nutrient needs of seniors to ensure you live your life to its fullest and are doing what you need to do in order to ensure long lasting health and vitality.