If ever there were a fountain of youth, diet and exercise would be it.
Forget about the steroids. Don’t bother with the hormone treatments. Scientists have yet to find any antiaging program that delivers on its promises. Even worse, many treatments have a harmful effect on your health.
Aging isn’t a disease. It doesn’t need a cure.
However, if you want to see healthier, more dynamic senior living, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to keep living well as you get older.
1. Try meatless Mondays.
Eating too much red meat throughout the week increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, and many other chronic health conditions. Join the growing “Meatless Monday” movement as a way to keep living well as a senior.
According to The Monday Campaigns, forgoing meat once a week can bring significant advantages to senior living:
- Limit your risk for certain cancers. Eating too much red meat or processed foods like sandwich meat can raise your chances of developing colon cancer.
- Fight heart disease. You can reduce your risk for heart disease by limiting your consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats. Opt for low-fat milk and skip the red meat, and you could see your chances of developing heart disease drop by as much as 19% without making any other lifestyle changes.
- Decrease your chances of developing diabetes. Cutting down on how much red and processed meats can drastically reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Trim down. Research has shown that vegetarians, who don’t replace meat with other unhealthy eating habits, tend to have healthier body weight. Studies have even shown that cutting back on meat even a little bit each week can help you keep off the extra pounds as you get older.
- Live better, longer. Because eating too much meat (especially red and processed meats) is linked to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, going meatless once a week can improve the quality of senior living and even lengthen your lifespan.
2. Eat more vegetables.
Now that you’re going meatless on Mondays, you’ll need some tasty alternatives. Beans, peas, and other vegetables have plenty of protein plus vitamins and minerals like fiber, zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate that have a number of additional health benefits.
It’s an unfortunate truth that many older adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables—especially when the recommended daily serving only adds up to about 2.5 to 7.5 cups—and miss out on all the benefits they can bring. So head to your local Farmer’s Market to pick up farm fresh produce to supplement your meatless Monday dinners.
Look for the most colorful produce when you’re perusing the stands at the local Farmer’s Market or browsing at your supermarket. Fruits and vegetables with deep, rich tones (dark leafy greens like spinach or kale and dark purple fruits like blueberries or blackberries) are typically packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
3. Try out new recipes.
AARP has plenty of healthy ideas for meals if you’re looking for great ways to enjoy all of the fruits and vegetables you’re adding to your diet.
Try this Bill Clinton Has Gone Vegan! You Can, Too, With These Tasty Recipes, courtesy of former President (and newly minted vegan) Bill Clinton, in place of you Monday night hamburger this week.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Salt, to taste
- White pepper, to taste
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Clean the cauliflower and cut into small florets.
2. Toss the cauliflower with 2 teaspoons olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and roast at 375° F for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Toss the tomatoes in 1 teaspoon olive oil and add to the cauliflower. Roast an additional 8 minutes.
4. Whisk together the Dijon mustard and the vinegar, then slowly incorporate the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to make the vinaigrette.
5. In a bowl, gently toss together the cauliflower-tomatoes mixture, the parsley and the vinaigrette
Senior Man Image credit: limonzest / 123RF Stock Photo
Roasted Cauliflower Image credit: Kat Teutsch