When it comes to looking and feeling your best, what you eat matters, especially as you age. Fortunately, preparing meals that are as healthy as they are delicious is easier than you might think. By mindfully pairing low-fat, nutrient-rich foods from each food group, you'll be well on your way to putting together well-balanced meals on a regular basis.
Here are some easy, practical tips to help you get started.
Stick with Lean Proteins
No meal would be complete without a substantial source of protein. After all, protein not only helps you stay full between meals, it also plays a key role in building strong muscles.
However, not all sources of protein are created equal. To keep your calories under control while getting the protein you need in every meal, it's best to choose lean protein options and keep your portions to around 3.5 ounces.
Some examples of healthy, lean protein sources include:
- Lean poultry, beef, or pork
- Beans or lentils
- Seafood, such as salmon or shrimp
- Greek yogurt
Add a Good Carbohydrate
While ditching carbs altogether may be a popular trend for people trying to lose weight, the right carbohydrates can make a wonderful addition to any healthy meal. Rather than foods that are filled with empty calories and refined sugars that are sure to leave you feeling hungry soon after eating and therefore promote those extra pounds, stick with "good" carbs that will give you energy, help you feel full longer and bring more fiber into your meals, such as:
- Vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, squash)
- 100% whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal)
- Fruit (apples, bananas, berries)
Incorporate Fiber-Rich Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables should make their way into every meal that you consume, even breakfast! They are essential to providing your body with the antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber that it needs to function properly.
To boost your immune system, maintain your energy throughout the day, and keep your mind sharp, it's best to include a variety of plants in every meal.
Typically, the more colorful your fruits and vegetables are, the better. With this in mind, try to make your plates as colorful as possible.
Drink Water with Your Meal
Getting the most out of your meals isn't just about what you eat, but also what you drink. Swap out sugary drinks, such as soda and tea, for water to acquire a number of health benefits, including:
- Improving digestion
- Helping you maintain a healthy weight
- Reducing sugar cravings
- Washing away food and bacteria from your teeth for better oral health
Healthy meals don't have to be complicated or flavorless. Eating well-balanced meals on a daily basis is as easy as pairing lean proteins and low-fat dairy with nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
To learn more about how Moorings Park Communities promotes healthy lifestyles through an integrative wellness approach, including nutrition, contact us today.