Your body is surprisingly similar to your car in many ways. It’s important to get routine maintenance done, especially with age. You’ve also got to have the right fuel to keep everything running smoothly and correctly. And finally, the better you take care of it and utilize preventive healthcare measures now, the longer it will last.
This means eating the right foods, taking in more antioxidants, and completing yearly wellness screenings. To ensure vibrant longevity, it’s important to take health-positive measures. An easy place to start is at mealtime.
Why Preventive Healthcare Matters
Naturally, as you age, the years of bad habits (and good!) start to catch up with you. Part of enjoying and prolonging your golden years means making the necessary changes to live a healthier lifestyle. While you don’t need to completely give up eating your favorite burger or your Saturday morning pancakes, it is important to start better habits as part of a preventative care routine.
According to those at Bradley University, preventive healthcare is an effective way to help those over 50 years old stay as healthy as possible, even as they continue into advanced age. Preventive healthcare can include several things such as:
- Having regular screenings and immunizations
- Eating more nutritious foods high in fiber, calcium, and vitamin D as well as plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
All of this can help prevent negative health conditions like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and asthma. Moreover, as Bradley Unversity goes on to further note, not only are these preventive measures important to living a more healthy, happier life but dealing with these sorts of illnesses can be costly.
Chronic illnesses often not only interfere with your hobbies and other activities but they can also prevent you from working. All of this is to say that the choices you make now are likely going to greatly affect the way you live your older adult life — so make them count.
When most older adults picture preventive healthcare measures, things like quitting smoking, regularly checking blood pressure, and eating more leafy greens are usually what comes to mind. While those are definitely some great options to start incorporating into your lifestyle, preventive health measures don’t always have to be so clinical and boring.
One preventive beverage that is likely to make you happy to hear is red wine. Surprisingly, red wine has many health benefits. Because red wine contains the antioxidant, Resveratrol (and others), consuming it in moderate amounts can help protect your cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and even reduce inflammation and prevent clotting which helps increase the amount of “good” cholesterol in your body.
If red wine isn’t your thing, tea and coffee are also great preventive health beverages. Tea and coffee usually contain caffeine which is beneficial to our mental alertness and creativity.
Similar to red wine, both tea and coffee contain important antioxidants that inhibit the growth of certain cancers, boost your immune system, and help relax blood vessels which can prevent instances of stroke and high blood pressure.
Adding a cup of green tea to your breakfast or a glass of red wine to your dinner are easy and effective steps you can take to better look after your health, and honestly, who can complain about that?
Create Better Habits Today for a Better Tomorrow
Unfortunately, it is important to start making certain sacrifices in the way of preventive health. One of the biggest health issues the aging Baby Boomer population faces is a compound of excessive junk food and lack of exercise.
These factors affect everyone, but when you’re over 50 you need to be mindful about limiting certain foods and moving more in order to stay healthy. It’s a lecture you’ve undoubtedly heard from your trusted healthcare provider for a while now.
It can be hard to break old, bad habits. It’s even harder if you try to completely reform your lifestyle all at once. Easing into better habits can make the process a lot easier. We all have our “guilty pleasures” when it comes to snacking and mealtime.
Eating well is the best preventive medicine
Food shouldn’t make you feel guilty but when you pressure yourself into strict diets and absurd exercise routines, you can develop a negative relationship with food and exercise. Instead, just try adjusting your habits to be more inclusive of healthy ones.
Instead of grabbing chips to snack on while watching a new movie opt for lightly salted popcorn. Portion it out as well instead of eating directly from the bag. You can still eat chocolate just switch to dark chocolate. You can also try making your own chocolate from scratch with added almonds or pistachios in it.
Both these nuts are packed with antioxidants so they can, at the very least, slightly improve your chocolate snacking habits. You can also try subbing in yogurt in place of ice cream, just make sure the yogurt you’re picking isn’t overloaded with sugar.
Know what you’re eating
One way to greatly improve your eating habits is learning how to read and understand nutrition labels. Nutrition education can be tricky to learn on your own so it’s recommended to ask your healthcare provider or do research online.
This is particularly worthwhile if you feel a though you have made the necessary dietary changes but aren’t seeing the sort of health benefits you want. You could very well have some hidden culprits disguised as healthy hidden inside your fridge and cabinets.
In a way, utilizing preventive healthcare measures is a form of self-care. While aging does present new challenges, it also presents a lot of opportunities. To really enjoy these moments as an older adult, you need to put your body, mind, and well-being at the top of your priority list.
Are you paying attention to what you’re eating so that you will stay healthy in the days ahead? What changes have you made in your eating habits? Please leave a comment below.