measuring tape around appleFor people young and old, eating the right foods is key to leading a healthy life. One-third of all people over the age of 65 are obese, which can lead to serious health complications like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

By choosing the right nutrients to include in your daily diet, you can improve your physical and mental health for a more independent lifestyle. Here are a few dietary tips to help you live a longer and healthier life.

Veggies & Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are some of the most important food groups to include in your diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should consume between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day.

Bananas, apples, pears and grapes are great sources of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, which can protect cells from damage and help prevent heart disease.

Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach and cauliflower are excellent sources of potassium which helps reduce blood pressure and can prevent strokes. They also contain fiber, which can help you maintain overall gut health.

Tip: Start experimenting with smoothies, an easy way to include the necessary servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.


The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 8 ounces of seafood per week. Fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, ideal for lowering blood pressure and your chances of developing heart disease. Fish is also rich in calcium and magnesium, two crucial minerals for heart health that help your heart muscles contract and relax.

Adding fish to your diet can also benefit your brain health. It helps build membranes around your brain cells and increase blood flow, which can decrease risk of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Tip: Try adding shrimp to your salads or making tacos with fish instead of beef. By making these small adjustments throughout the week, it will be easier to reach the recommended serving size of seafood.

Nuts and Beans

If you’re looking for foods packed with important vitamins and minerals, nuts and beans are the way to go! These foods also contain protein, which is important in helping your body repair damaged cells and make new ones.

Nuts have it all, including healthy fats, fiber and protein. They are also easy to incorporate into any diet, provided you don’t have an existing allergy. Simply toss some on top of a salad or grab a handful on the go. Nuts can play a big role in minimizing risk of heart disease by helping to improve cholesterol levels.

Beans are crucial to maintaining your gut health and reducing blood sugar levels. They can provide your body with protein, fiber and iron to help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Tip: Have small packets of nuts available as a snack or a quick option when running errands. Start including beans in your soups and dips, so you can enjoy them with additional flavor.
At Avon Health Center, we offer residents a seasonal selective menu based on their food preferences and dietary needs. Our in-house Registered Dietitian ensures nutrition is maximized with well-balanced, versatile meal choices. To learn more about healthy eating choices for seniors, contact us today.