Eating healthy and pursuing health and fitness is a common goal for every single being–regardless of age. However, different ages have different food requirements and nutritional needs. Other foods may be good for the young ones but a bit harmful for the older people when taken regularly or vice versa.
To guide you in your lifelong pursuit of a healthy life, we’ve gathered the eight best healthy food choices for all ages:
This humble little seed is now gaining popularity for its countless powerful health benefits. The nutritional powers of flaxseeds can help both adults and children. Flaxseeds have a high omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, it has surpassed other 127 world’s healthiest foods when it comes to omega-3 content. It is also known for its superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, anti-cancer properties, and much more.
For children, flaxseeds can boost their immunity, keep their energized, and help them build strong muscles and bones. For flaxseeds to be best enjoyed of both the young and old, it can be added to muffins, cereals, smoothies, and shakes.
#2 Whole Grains
Whole grains aren’t only best for older people; they’re good for kids as well. That is why it is advisable to introduce whole grains to children as early as possible. 100% whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and micronutrients. Whole grains promote healthy digestion, blood sugar control, and healthy cholesterol level maintenance, unlike white products that are stripped off of nutrients.
Varieties of whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, millet, and the like. They can also be bought as whole grain cereal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta,
and whole grain tortilla.
#3 Milk and dairy
Calcium plays a huge role in building strong bones in children and maintaining and preserving healthy bone density in older people. As calcium builds up bones for growing children, it helps prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures for adults. Aiming for 2-3 servings are recommended per day for children and three servings or 1,200 mg for adults. You just have to make sure that you aren’t allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant.
One pint of milk per day can suffice your daily calcium needs. Yoghurt, cheese, milk-based puddings, and fromage frais, a creamy fresh cheese made from whole milk and cream are great alternatives.
Salmon is a rich source of healthy and high-quality protein that is essential for the proper growth and development of children. For adults, its omega-3 fatty acids content greatly contributes to healthy heart function and eyesight preservation. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote brain development needed for school children and for preventing adults from losing memory due to old age.
For salmon to be enjoyed by kids, it can be crispy-fried, glazed, or made into yummy burgers or rice toppings. Typically, adults love salmon just the way it is. Fresh salmon is even eaten raw through sashimis.
Taking in fruits daily is one of the best natural ways of getting your body’s needed vitamins and minerals for children, and especially for adults and seniors. It is recommended that at least 2 cups of fruits be taken daily from age 9 and above, and 1 to 1 ½ cups for the younger ones. Those who have a physically active lifestyle may consume more as long as they stay within their recommended calorie needs.
Fresh or canned fruits are the best alternatives for fatty and sugary snacks. Just keep an eye on added syrup or sugar. Fruits can be enjoyed as they are or made into smoothies, fruit shakes, or sorbets.
Just like fruits, colorful vegetables are great sources of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to function well. It is suggested for all ages to incorporate vegetables into their meals every single day, 1 to 1 ½ cups for ages 2 to 8, and 2 to 3 cups for ages 9 and above. However, making children eat vegetables can be difficult. When adults model healthy eating, it will be easier for children to emulate.
There are countless ways to make vegetables appetizing for the young ones and adult picky eaters. Vegetables can be topped on pizzas, added in soups, made into salsas or dips, and other creative ways.
Eggs should be a staple food in your pantry. They are ‘egg’-cellently packed with a wide range of essential nutrients such as Vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, Folate, Phosphorus, Selenium, and more. More than that, it contains 77 calories, 6 g of protein, and 5 g of healthy fats. Its choline content is good for memory and managing stress. Eggs have almost every nutrient your body needs. Omega-3 enriched, or pastured eggs are even healthier.
Eggs can be incorporated in any food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and even desserts. They versatility can easily adapt to different cooking preferences of both young and the old.
An avocado is packed with more than 25 essential nutrients that include 20 different vitamins and minerals. It is even considered by the Guinness Book of Records as the most nutritious fruit known to man. More than that, an avocado is filled with healthy monounsaturated fats that are essential for growing kids and for keeping both kids and adults’ hearts healthy. Other benefits of avocados include anti-aging, and anti-cancer properties.
Avocado is so versatile that you can eat as it is, add it in a salad, enjoy it as an ice cream, and many more. It can be sliced, diced, pureed, and then added to yoghurt, soups, dips, desserts, sandwiches, smoothies, and other recipes you could think of.
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle should not only start when you grow old and feel different health conditions arise. In fact, a healthy lifestyle should be started as early as possible. Include these healthy food choices in your daily diet that’s not only good for you but also for your whole family!
Sanford Harvey is a researcher and writer at Genemedics Health Institute, a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy clinic in Arizona consisting of highly trained hormone specialists.