People often find themselves battling unhealthy eating habits throughout their life, and while they may be able to manage their lifestyle and a decent weight throughout middle age, poor dietary habits can impact your senior years. If you tend to reach for junk food whenever you have had a stressful day at work or you are bored while watching television, as you age, your body will be more susceptible to concerns of diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, and poor circulation. The body requires a variety of nutritional elements to stay healthy and functioning at full capacity, and while time plays a part in weakening these systems, a poor diet only serves to accelerate the degeneration. If you switch to healthy snacking habits now, you can start on an anti-aging protocol that makes you ready for the health risks that can accompany old age.
1. Hard-Boiled Eggs. Not just a part of a well-balanced breakfast, a hard-boiled egg delivers a powerful punch of protein without any added concerns of sugar. This makes it a perfect choice when stacked against pre-packaged protein bars or shakes. The risk of diabetes increases as you age, yet a boiled egg won’t impact your sugar levels. Eggs are also a healthy snack for the number of vitamins it contains. Most notably, it is high in vitamins A, B6, and D.
2. Yogurt. Another good choice for inclusion at breakfast or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, yogurt contains significant levels of probiotics and protein. The probiotic element is one of the best ways to improve and regulate digestion, as these live bacteria help maintain proper gut health and digestive functions. Probiotics have also been shown to reduce inflammation in different areas of the body, as well as improve skin conditions that may be caused by allergies. The best yogurt options will be high in probiotics without having a lot of added sugar. Fancy flavors might be more appetizing, but you ruin the health benefit of yogurt when your tax your pancreas with increased blood sugar processing.
3. Walnuts. As you age, your cognitive health will start to decline. While this may be a normal part of the journey, eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your mental functions and reduce memory loss. Walnuts are a crunchy addition to salads, yogurts, or just by the handful. These tasty bites are also high in vitamin D, which helps with mental health and reducing depression.
4. Berries. Colorful and sweet, berries are for more than just pie and shortcake. While having a spoonful in some whipped cream isn’t strictly forbidden, the sweetness of fresh berries makes them a tasty snack all on their own. Berries, whether blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, provide the body with powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and keep them from destroying healthy cell life. Some berries, those with edible seeds, can be a source of fiber, but also vitamin C. The high content of vitamin C mirrors that of citrus fruits, making them immune boosters.
5. Low Fat Cheese. Dairy is a necessary part of a healthy diet, and snacking on low-fat cheese is one way to sneak in a little bit extra. However, cheese is high in protein, and when combined with some whole-grain crackers, adds extra fiber into the diet. The protein supplies energy and a feeling of fullness, making it less tempting to reach for a candy bar or bag of chips during the late afternoon or before bed.
6. Veggie Sticks. Everyone knows the importance of eating your vegetables, but unless you start that habit now, you won’t be doing it when your body has reached the age where increased nutrition is critical. Veggie sticks are a healthy snack, whether green bell peppers, carrots, celery, radishes, or broccoli, but they can be quite boring and bland. If you want to add a dip that isn’t full of sugar or trans fat, consider hummus. While it can be an acquired taste, this dip comes from the Middle East and relies on chickpeas and seasonings for its composition. Combined with veggie sticks, this a great low-calorie snack that is packed with flavor and great crunch.
7. Water. Although water isn’t really a snack, you need to be in the habit of consuming at least 64 ounces a water a day to remain completely hydrated. As you age, your skin will change in elasticity and texture, often needing increased fluids to keep the skin from drying out, creating painful cracking or rough spots.
For many people, age tends to creep up and surprise them, preventing them from being able to proactively address health concerns. Establishing the right snacking habits now will go a long way in preparing your body and training your mind for the changes that aging can bring.
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