ACTIVE AGEING

Healthy ageing: Why you should eat well to age well

Eat your way to healthy and happy golden years, long after your retirement
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Parents take great pains to ensure that their children are well nourished. But as you care for the nutritional needs of your child, you should not neglect your own or that of your parents either.

The importance of healthy eating

When it comes to your health and well-being, good nutrition and lifestyle habits should work hand in hand. Poor habits such as smoking, lack of exercise and inadequate diet can have a cumulative effect on our bodies as we age.

It is important for seniors to keep a healthy diet, as good eating habits can strengthen the immune system and improve your ability to recover from illness1, as well as help prevent chronic disease.

Regardless of your age, maintaining a balanced diet can still be a challenge. One way to help you along: include nutritional supplements in your diet, to help meet the recommended intake levels. These products can help make up for the nutrients you might lack in your daily meals.

The consequences of poor meal habits

Inadequate nutrition can make you more prone to infections, muscle weakness and reduce your quality of life, as you age2. It can also cause a lack of appetite and lack of taste sensitivity, due to deficiencies in micronutrients such as zinc3. Poor appetite can encourage irregular meal habits, which can worsen the problem.

Nutrient deficiencies can give rise to a whole plethora of other consequences ranging from loss of muscle mass and lethargy to depression and poor wound healing.

The elderly are at greater risk of undernutrition as their digestive systems are not as efficient in absorbing nutrients4. They may also have problems chewing food in the later years. The elderly who refuse to take certain types of foods over others become at risk of missing out on essential nutrients.

The right lifestyle choices made earlier on in life can affect the health status of one's later years. It is never too early or too late to ensure that you are getting the essential nutrients your body needs, to remain healthy and active. So stay nourished for good health!

1WebMD. Retrieved on Sept 9, 2015 from: http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-ageing/guide/eating-well-longevity.

2Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on Sept 9, 2015 from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/senior-health/art-20044699.

3Ibid.

4Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Retrieved on Sept 9, 2015 from: https://www.ttsh.com.sg/healtharticles/undernutrition-in-the-elderly.