The Importance of Balanced Nutrition for Seniors

Posted on 22 Mar 2022 in Nutrition

The Importance of Balanced Nutrition for Seniors

Posted on 22 Mar 2022 in Nutrition


*Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes* 

Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is crucial at any age, but becomes that much more important as we reach midlife and beyond. Many often believe that healthy eating is all about diet and sacrifice, however, it mainly involves nourishing your body with fresh, delicious food filled with wholesome ingredients that provide you with energy to do the things you love everyday - walking, swimming, dancing, to name a few. 

As you age, your nutritional needs, appetite, and food habits change in different ways, which is why it’s important to adjust your diet accordingly to improve the way you think and feel. We’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why maintaining a well-balanced diet as you age can help you lead a happier, healthier, and longer life: 

Promotes Healthy Digestion 

One of the key ways in improving your digestive health is by maintaining a diet that is high in fiber and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. By incorporating more of these foods into your diet, the normal digestion process runs smoothly, in turn preventing constipation and maintaining a healthy body weight. Additionally, a high-fiber diet may help prevent or treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids. 

Seniors who mainly eat fatty foods or often skip entire meals can be at risk for developing digestive disorders as they age. For instance, high-fat meals are linked to chronic diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and more. If you or your loved one tends to experience stomach pain after eating, you may want to consider eating several smaller nutrient-filled meals throughout the day instead of a larger one. Eating smaller meals more frequently may counteract the natural slow down of the digestive system. 

Strengthens the Immune System 

As we age, our immune response capability reduces, and in turn can lead to the rise of infection and disease in seniors. Since our body uses food to extract nutrients that prevent disease, it’s extremely important that our diets contain nutrient-rich foods for an overall stronger immune system. Antioxidant-rich foods help fight against free radicals that can cause damage to the body, whereas sugary foods generate an inflammatory response within the body, causing health issues and lowering the immune system. Feeling unsure as to which foods are high in antioxidants? See below for a list of delicious options: 

  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries) 

  • Red cabbage 

  • Beans 

  • Dark chocolate 

  • Pecans 

  • Spinach 

  • Carrots 

  • Potatoes 

Improves Cognitive Functioning 

While you may not be able to completely prevent or stop cognitive decline as you age, you can reduce your risk by eating a well-balanced diet that supports brain health. Similar to other types of muscles in the body, the brain needs protein, healthy fats, and hydration to function. We’ve put together a list of 5 brain-boosting foods for seniors: 

  • Omega-3 fatty acid foods - salmon, trout, anchovies, sardines, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts 

  • Berries 

  • Turmeric 

  • Dark chocolate 

  • Nuts - almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts 

Strengthens Bones and Muscles 

Our bones play different vital roles in the body, providing structural support, protecting organs, and storing calcium. It’s important to build strong and healthy bones during adolescence, and imperative to take steps to protect bone health as adults and seniors. Eating certain foods high in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and magnesium can strengthen both your bones and muscles. Getting these necessary nutrients can help seniors improve their physical health and improve their mobility. 

Improves Mental Health and Well-Being 

When many decide to make healthy changes to their diet, they are mainly concerned with how it will affect their physical health without considering the positive impact on their mental health. Not only can a well-balanced diet help you think clearer and feel more alert, but it can also improve concentration and attention span. On the other hand, an inadequate diet often leads to fatigue, stress, depression, impaired decision-making, and a slower reaction time. 


Following a well-balanced diet every day is crucial in leading a long, happy and healthy life. However, seniors may find it difficult to prepare meals and/or shop for the nutritious foods they need. At Heart To Home Meals, we believe that life should get easier as you age, which is why we’ve created a service with your lifestyle, tastes and nutrition in mind.  Andrea, our Consultant Dietitian, has worked closely with our chefs to develop a menu with meals that support the nutritional needs of seniors. Our offerings include a wide variety of entrées including beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetarian, and breakfast options. We have several soups to start and tempting desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Our diet coding system was created to help you choose the meals that meet your dietary needs with options such as ProteinAssist, , Carb Control, Low Saturated Fat, Low Sodium, High Fibre, Vegetarian, and/or No Added Sugar.  


Do you have questions about senior nutrition? Download our FREE eBook to learn more: Click here to Download NOW! 

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