During all stages of life, your body has special nutritional needs that should be addressed to remain healthy. Here are four tips for active seniors.

image of a chicken cabbage salad, a healthy, nutritious recipe

  1. The body needs more of certain vitamins (such as Vitamin D and B12) and minerals (such as calcium) during senior years. However, many people need fewer calories as they age. That’s why choosing foods that are nutrient dense helps to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, through foods such as fruits, vegetables, lower fat dairy, and whole grains.
  2. To decrease your risk of heart disease and some cancers, reduce your intake of saturated and trans fat. Instead, choose lean meats and keep your portion size to 3 ounces per meal. Also try to limit your eating processed foods that are high in trans fat.
  3. As you age, you may experience loss of appetite or difficulty chewing. It’s important not to skip meals. To address this, pick quick and easy recipes that are less overwhelming, some of which you can find online. Or, try the Stir Fry Chicken Cabbage Salad below, as cold food can be more appealing when you don’t have an appetite. Other great cold foods are fruit, yogurt, a salad with hard-boiled egg and tuna, or a cheese platter. Also be sure to schedule regular dental visits to maintain healthy teeth.
  4. Our thirst response decreases as we age, so you may need to remind yourself to stay hydrated.There are a variety of flavored waters, sparkling waters, teas, coffees, and juices at your local grocery store. Do some taste testing and found ones you like, then keep them on hand and enjoy a refreshment break often.

It is never too late to improve your health. Try our recipe below for Chicken Cabbage Salad, which is a well-balanced meal to add into your lifestyle.

What other ways to you practice healthy nutrition? Let us know in the comments.

Chicken Cabbage Salad (Yield 6 servings)

1 cooked rotisserie chicken

½ Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

¼ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 c. julienned carrots

½ c. of snow peas

¼ c. green onions

¼ c. cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 c. chopped walnut or almonds

Soy-ginger vinaigrette

1 lemon, juiced

¼ c. red wine vinegar

¼ c. light soy sauce

2 heaped tsp. honey

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled + grated

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ c. olive oil

  1. To make the vinaigrette, add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and whisk well to combine. Slowly add the olive oil and continue whisking to emulsify.
  2. Remove both breasts from the chicken and thinly slice or cube.Save the rest of the chicken for another use.
  3. To a large bowl, add the cabbages, other vegetables, cilantro and chicken.Toss with dressing and sprinkle with nuts.
By Quincie Grounds, RDN, LD, CNSC