Eating well is vital
for everyone at all ages. Whatever your age, your daily food choices can make
an important difference in your health and in how you look and feel.
It may be surprising, but foods can
affect how your medicine works. That’s why it's always best to ask your doctor,
pharmacist or nutritionist if you should avoid any foods. For example, if you
take medicine for high blood pressure, anxiety or insomnia, grapefruit juice
may interact with your drugs. Don't miss out on the vitamin C and potassium
that grapefruit holds. Instead, enjoy other citrus fruits like oranges etc.
If you have sensitive,
decayed or missing teeth, raw vegetables maybe high on your list of foods to
avoid. But don't miss out on the vitamins and fiber. Instead, try cooking
vegetables until they are softer. Or use pureed vegetables such as carrots,
pumpkins and beets etc in soups or stews. You can also try canned vegetables.
Just look for those with no added salt.
Some people avoid beans
because of the gas and stomach pain they can cause. But if you've banned beans
from your diet, you may want to reconsider. Beans are an excellent source of
fiber, high in protein and iron and low in fat. The trick is to add beans to
your diet slowly. Start by having a small serving a few times a week. Or try
using a digestive enzyme that's sold over the counter to reduce gas.
You may have trouble
digesting milk or dairy products as you age. But you may not have to give up
all dairy products and the calcium and protein they provide. Many people can
have small amounts of dairy with no stomach upset. And some dairy products are
better tolerated than others. Non-fat plain yogurt and low-fat cheeses are
especially nutritious choices. Or try lactose-free dairy products.
Although caffeine may
not be a problem for everyone, it can make some people feel anxious or jittery.
Caffeine can also increase your heart rate and cause sleeping problems. If
you're trying to cut back, be sure to taper off slowly. Stopping caffeine too
quickly may cause headaches, nausea, or vomiting. Slowly replace caffeinated
drinks with water, herbal tea, or decaf.
Some of the healthiest
cuts of meat, such as lean steak, can be the most difficult to chew. Look for
lean ground beef with no more than 10% fat. Or for a healthier protein source
that's easy to chew, try fish.
/ High-Sodium Foods:
If you're over 40 or in
a high-risk group, the CDC recommends you get no more than 1,500 milligrams of
sodium each day. Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and put you at
higher risk for heart attack and stroke. The main culprits are the processed
foods such as frozen foods, snack foods and salad dressings etc. Read labels
carefully and look for "sodium free", low-salt or no-salt
Do you avoid
cruciferous vegetables because of problems with gas? Cruciferous vegetables
like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower etc are high in vitamin C,
beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, iron, and folate. Some studies have shown they
may also reduce your cancer risk. Don't avoid these vegetables. Just add them
to meals gradually, in smaller servings. Drinking plenty of fluids may help too.
Fresh fruits contain an
abundance of vitamins, fiber, and other important nutrients. But it maybe hard
to eat your "apple a day" if you have trouble chewing. Instead, try
canned fruits with no added sugar or syrup, or eat softer fruits such as
berries, bananas, and melons etc. You can also blend your favorites into a