Do you remember when you were a carefree youth and you happily counted 2 bags of crisps as a healthy lunch?

It seemed that back then you could eat anything and pretty much get away with it, but now as your body is changing you need to be more aware of what you eat and dispense of those bad eating habits.

Old age may be creeping up on you but there are things you can do to slow down the process and keep yourself physically fit and mentally agile.

Healthy eating is important for both body and mind and here are 8 must-try foods for the elderly.

1. Whole Grains for Digestion

By making a few simple switches such as whole grain bread and brown rice/pasta you can help the digestion process and reduce the risk of heart disease. The dietary fibre contained in whole grains help with bowel function, leaves you feeling full for longer and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

2. Oily Fish to Lower Blood Pressure

There are many benefits to eating oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel as they are full of vitamin D, vitamin B and omega-3.

Oily fish has been found to lower blood pressure and reduce fatty build-up in arteries. It may also help prevent age-related blindness.

3. Brainy Blueberries

Blueberries have always been known as a 'superfood' and now researchers have discovered that blueberries can aid memory and concentration. It is thought that the antioxidants present in blueberries help stimulate blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

4. Cooked Tomatoes Slow Cancer

The red colour of tomatoes comes from lycopene, a nutrient which can prevent cancer cells from attaching to a fresh blood supply.

Lycopene is present in all tomatoes but especially in cooked ones. The way lycopene slows down cancer rates has been found to be particularly effective in prostate cancer.

5. Leafy Greens for Iron

The elderly can be more prone to anaemia which increases the risk of falls and even dementia. Dark green leafy veg and whole grains can help you get your daily dose of iron the natural way.

6. Marvellous Milk for Strong Bones

The elderly can suffer from a weak bone density which leads to fracturing. Drinking milk and eating diary is one way in which you can build up your supplies of calcium for strong and healthy bones.

7. Cinnamon as Diabetic Aid

Many studies have shown that cinnamon can not only reduce diabetic risk factors but also acts as natural insulin for those with diabetes. Cinnamon has a host of other health benefits too so it's worth adding to your diet.

8. Drink More Red Wine

Alcohol is a natural blood thinner and so red wine can help reduce the risk of a stroke. Red wine grapes contain resveratrol which can protect nerve cells in the brain.

One or two glasses a day is recommended and full red wine produced using traditional methods have been found to contain more resveratrol than new world red wines.

Of course a good diet with plenty of exercise will help keep you fit and healthy no matter what your age but it's important also not to push yourself too hard. If you find it difficult to use the stairs then do look at stair lift prices to help give your independence a welcome boost.

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