You’ve heard it before: You are what you eat. But did you know that healthy eating can also help prevent falls? Eating nutritious foods protects bones, joints and muscles and gives you strength and stamina, which ensures that you’re able to stay active and independent. The definition of healthy eating does change a little as you age; for example, your body may need more of certain nutrients. Your metabolism also slows down, so you need fewer calories than before. This means that it is more important to choose foods that give you the best nutritional value.
The National Council on Aging recommends these steps to find the best foods for a steady body:
- Look for important nutrients – Remember to choose foods that are calcium-rich, high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, an important mineral as we age.
- Read the Nutrition Facts label – The nutritionlabels help you find items that are lower in fat, added sugars and sodium.
- Use recommended servings – To maintain your weight, eat the right amount of food for your age and body.
- Stay hydrated – Water is an important nutrient too. Staying properly hydrated prevents low blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue and confusion.
March is National Nutrition Month when you are encouraged to “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” Each bite counts to help you stay steady on your feet and prevent falls. Most major grocery stores have a nutritionist on staff to help you make good food choices.