Nutrition for Healthy Aging

HOW NUTRITION AND PROPER MOVEMENT GO HAND-IN-HAND

You likely already know that your diet has a big impact on your health. But are you aware of the influences it has on the aging process? That’s right, good nutrition contributes to a lot more than just managing weight and providing energy!

Your diet affects many aspects of your well-being including your immune system, bone health, muscle function, inflammation, and pain. Conditions including heart disease and diabetes are also impacted by dietary intake in both developments as well as management. In the words of Hippocrates, “let food by thy medicine”.

It might be intimidating to hear how influential your diet really is, especially if you haven’t been making the healthiest choices lately. But there is good news! Changing your diet is one of the prime ways to achieve health-related goals.

Whether you are looking to reduce the pain in your joints or recover from recent surgery, you can use the powerful tool of your diet to give your body the support it needs. It’s never too late to take steps toward a healthier life!

Add an Additional 8 Years to Your Expected Lifespan by Changing Your Diet!

A recent study [ublishedb y PLOS Medicine determined that transitioning to a high-quality dietary pattern at age 60 can have huge benefits. In fact “changing from a typical diet to the optimized diet at age 60 years would increase life expectancy by 8.0 years for women and 8.8 for men.”

This study also found that the benefits of changing diets are greater the sooner you make the switch. The optimal diet described in the study had a substantially higher intake of whole grains, legumes, fish, fruits, and vegetables, and included a handful of nuts while reducing red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and refined grains.

If this isn’t a powerful enough motivator, you can also save money by altering your diet. An individual could save $300 per year in healthcare expenses when adopting healthier eating habits (this translates to $50 billion nationwide annually).

Dietary Recommendations to Improve Joint Pain and Arthritis

With all the dietary patterns and programs now available, it can be overwhelming to get started. If you are ready to make a change in your nutrition but don’t know how to begin, know that there are many resources available, such as the general guidelines below that show some foods that help fight inflammation (Joint Pain/Arthritis).

Are You Looking To Reduce The Pain In Your Joints?
  • Foods Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    • Seeds and Nuts- include walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds
    • Coldwater Fish- halibut, tuna, salmon, or trout
  • Fruit – Tomatoes, Pineapple, Blueberries
  • Cruciferous Veggies- brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli
  • Beans and Lentils- Pinto beans, chickpeas, black beans, soybeans, and lentils
  • Root Veggies and Garlic- onions, garlic, turmeric, and ginger
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods
  • Oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids or saturated fats
  • Sugar and refined carbohydrates

Your physical therapist can assist with resolving muscle and joint pain through exercise and nutritional guidance. Addressing your dietary status and needs during your first appointment with a physical therapist may be an important part of your treatment process. Patients may also be referred to a dietitian in some cases. Working with a physical therapist to manage your aches and pains through exercise and healthy eating can change your life! Every year, physical therapists help hundred of thousands of patients improve their health.

Ready to Feel Better? Contact Your Local Clinic Today!

Are you ready to make your aches and pains a thing of the past? Or simply wanting to make a long-lasting transition to a healthier lifestyle? To schedule your first appointment with a licensed physical therapist, contact your local Excel Physical Therapy. We can help alleviate your aches and pains!

by: David Lerman PT, DPT, Excel Physical Therapy – Southampton 

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