We’ve been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for several months now. For many of us, taking precautionary measures to avoid the spread of the virus is becoming second nature. You know you need to wash your hands, keep socially distant from people you don’t live with, wear masks in public, and avoid going out if it’s not necessary. By now, you’re a pro. But have you considered other healthy lifestyle habits? Are you keeping active—and are you feeding your body with nutritious, healthy meals?
In this uncertain time, senior nutrition is more important than ever. When you eat well, you feel well—and that includes more than just your body. A healthy diet can help your mental health as well.
A nutritious diet includes many different types of foods that support your body and help you stay healthy. Physical benefits of great senior nutrition include:
- Boosted immune system
- Stronger bone and muscles
- More energy
- Improved organ function
Your diet feeds your body, so it’s important to support it by eating regular meals consisting of healthy foods.
Most of us don’t take the time to consider how our eating habits affect our mental health, but they do. When you eat well and take care of your body, you also strengthen your mental health. When you eat well, you feel well, which is why the CDC suggests that a healthy diet is an important piece of self-care and stress management as we navigate this unfamiliar territory.
Recommended Foods for Seniors
Your dietary needs may not be the same as they used to be. You need to support your body with the right blend of nutrients. Important aspects of an excellent diet for seniors include:
- Whole-grain foods for fiber and carbohydrates
- Fruits and vegetables for vitamins and nutrients
- Meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds for protein
- Dairy products for calcium
It’s important to note that, while these are great sources of the vitamins and nutrients we need to thrive, your body is unique and you may have specific dietary needs. If you’re not sure where to begin with creating a healthy diet, reach out to your doctor to discuss it together.
Senior Nutrition and COVID-19
A healthy diet can help you boost your immune system, keep your body running, and provide a sense of normalcy. However, it’s important to note that healthy eating is not a preventative—or a cure—for COVID-19. The CDC recommends proper nutrition during this time for two reasons:
- Self-care. We’re all facing a time of uncertainty. Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs will help you to cope with the stress.
- Boosting your immune system. Certain vitamins and minerals can impact your immune system, but they are not intended to treat or prevent COVID-19.
Even when you’re eating well, you still need to take proper steps to protect yourself from the virus and to stop the spread.
Your Partner in Health
Taking care of your body is an essential part of staying happy and healthy during a time when we are all facing uncertainty. At Briarwood Retirement Community, the health and safety of our residents is our first priority. Throughout this crisis, we have worked to keep our residents safe, and that includes providing them with well-balanced, nutritious meals.
Want to learn more about what it’s like to live at Briarwood? Reach out to us to book a tour. We’d be happy to show you our campus and answer your questions about staying safe during this difficult time. We can’t wait to hear from you!