Health & Wellness

Healthy Aging

By Jennifer Miller, RD, LD, CNSC
February 6th, 2013

Jennifer Miller, RD, LD, CNSC

Good nutrition and physical activity are cornerstones to staying healthy throughout life. Because nutrient needs change as we get older, it is important to know which foods offer vitamins and minerals that will promote good health.

Foods rich in nutrients are familiar and easy to find, which makes achieving balance and building a healthier lifestyle simple and stress-free.   Follow these small steps to create healthy habits that will benefit your health now and for the rest of your life:

  • Select foods in their rawest form when seeking out foods that are rich in nutrients— look for ingredients you can pronounce and limit processed,  pre-packaged foods as much as possible
  • Eat fresh, whole fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. The three major antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  To get the biggest benefits of antioxidants, eat these foods in their rawest form or lightly steamed—don’t overcook or boil. September is still harvest time in many areas so continue to seek out local farmers markets
  • Opt for whole grains—such as, whole wheat bread, pasta, cereals and rice. Check the ingredients label and select “whole” grains or “whole” wheat versus “enriched”.  These are best in offering antioxidants, vitamins B and E, fiber and iron
  • Keep muscles strong and healthy by selecting lean proteins, found in several types of foods—such as: lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy.  The healthiest types of proteins come from vegetarian sources: beans, nuts and soy
  • Commit to a healthy breakfast that includes whole grains, protein, and calcium-, vitamin D- and vitamin C-rich foods.

    Healthy eating = healthy aging

  • Become physically active almost everyday.  Regardless of age or condition, there is a type of physical activity that’s right for you.  Always ask your doctor whether it is safe to start a physical activity program.

It’s never too late to begin good habits and start a path of health and wellness.   Help feel your best by learning how to make healthy food choices – especially those that are lower in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.  Remember to enjoy your diet and become physically active every day!

Jennifer Miller, RD, LD, CNSC is a Clinical Nutrition Manager for Sodexo at Georgetown Hospital System in Murrells Inlet & Georgetown, South Carolina.

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