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Living! CHANGING NUTRITIONAL NEEDS It’s important to update your diet as you grow older. The message was the same for seniors, even after the traditional food pyramid was updated for a new era: Focus on nutrient-dense options and more fluids, while getting plenty of exercise, in order to improve mental health and lengthen your life. The USDA breaks their recommendations down into three vital areas: Fiber, fluiuds and supplements. FOCUS ON FIBER Digestive health relies upon a recommended intake of fiber, which is found in whole-grain foods, dark-colored vegetables and brightly colored fruits. Experts recommend that we eat fresh as often is as possible, but seniors should take advantage of frozen options, canned or dried vegetables and fruits needed in order to reach optimum intake levels. Canned and dried foods are also handy when traveling or in the event of a natural disaster that makes traveling to an area grocer impossible. Limit sodium, in particular if you have been diagnosed with hypertension. FLUID INTAKE Seniors should lower the risk of dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. This is especially important, of course, when working or exercising outdoors and in the hotter summer months. But staying hydrated is important even if you’re not spending extended periods of time outside. Water is recommended, rather than sugary drinks or sodas, which may actually have the opposite effect since they’re diuretics. Fluids can also be obtained by eating various foods with a high amount of water content like vegetables, soups and lettuce. The USDA says to gauge what’s needed by listening to your body. If you’re thirsty, that means you’re not getting enough water. SUPPLEMENTAL NEEDS As we age, certain additional needs emerge, as calcium, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D supplements are recommended — in particular if your diet Furniture Center “For Quality Inside and Out” doesn’t include enough of these vital nutrients. The World Health Organization recommends that those over 50 get Now Carrying 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, the equivalent of four cups of dairy or soy milk, or fortified orange juice. Omega 3 fatty acids serve to reduce inflation, helping to fight cancer, heart disease and arthritis. You’ll find it in walnuts, flaxseed 7405 Woodway Dr. (254) 776-0144 and certain fish. Consult with a physician about integrating supplements into your daily regimen. They may also have helpful tips on dietary updates you can make that might eliminate the need for additional voted #1 in Retirement Living Assisted Living vitamins. Skilled Nursing Care Welcome home. to advertise in Senior Living, please call 757-5858