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You Are What You Eat!
Written By : SeniorsList 
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Our eating changes as we age. When we're young, we gravitate towards foods that are fun, fast, and satisfying. Our lives are hectic, our pocketbooks are light, and our stomachs are never satisfied. You grab some hot wings when drinking at a bar with friends, you reach for pizza on your lunch break, and you indulge in your banan walnut muffin the morning. We often don't think twice about these choices when we're healthy and have our whole lives ahead of us.

However, when we age and our bodies become ill or just more susceptible to illness, it's necessary to create a different relationship to food and our bodies.

The concept of "health food" can be a confusing one. Everyone seems to have a different notion about what foods heal and promote life, and which foods do not. But the answer could be as simple as getting the facts, and experimenting with your own body to find what's satisfying, nourishing, and creates your own personal state of well-being.

There are some universal recommendations that seem to have a benefit for all. Reducing sodium intake helps with high blood pressure for instance. Reducing fat intake can help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, calcium is a must for bone health, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables along with plenty of water helps reduce constipation, and it's always a good idea to take a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement.

Just as important as what you eat is how you eat it. Eat slowly. Favoring foods high in nutritional value and not caloric density will keep your weight under control. Choose fresh, natural, whole foods life fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and high quality proteins and dairy products.

The way to implement a healthier approach to food is to begin to understand what your body needs. Talk to your health care professional or a registered dietician to understand what foods might be most beneficial to your specific concerns and requirements.

Make a commitment to foods that are nutrient dense and rich in flavor. Prepare meals that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest, as digestion can become weaker as we age. Soft, warm, and moist foods are the easiest on the stomach. Soups, stews, steamed vegetables, and warm casseroles are good choices and make easily digestible, comforting meals. Find recipes that are easy to prepare, and are meaningful to you in some way. My mother's homemade split pea soup always calms me, and it's chock full of natural-homemade foods, and love. Everyone benefits emotionally from eating foods that bring on positive memories. Take old comfort dishes and heighten the nurtient content by adding rich fruits and vegetables. Put veggies in your pasta, and antioxidant-rich fruits in your ice cream.

If cooking or shopping for yourself is not an option, try a home delivery service or grocery store in your are that accepts phone and internet orders. Check your local phonebook or Senior Center to find a personal chef in your area, or sign up for Meals on Wheels, which charges seniors a small fee based on the individual's financial capabilities.

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