Healthy eating gives energy to your body, mind and muscles!

Eating a clean, nutritious diet is best for your overall health, especially as you get older, as it fuels your body, muscles, and mind. For example, Harvard Medical School warns that older adults are at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies than other age groups.

What is nutrient-dense food?

Nutrient-dense (or nutritious) foods contain little sugar, sodium, starch, and unhealthy fats. It is low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. You need these essential vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, to nourish your body and stay healthy. They reduce the risk of chronic diseases and when consumed through food, the body can absorb them properly.
Incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet has many benefits. It has more nutrients per calorie and helps with healthy weight management. Reduced risk of common health concerns associated with aging and nutritional deficiencies, including reduced risk of anemia, cognitive impairment, and osteoporosis. Improved sleep. Improved mental health and mood. Strengthening muscle strength. Plus, there are additional benefits such as reduced risk of falls and injuries, improved joint health, and increased mobility and flexibility.


Not many recommended food options

Here are some nutritious food options recommended for your diet.

– Whole grains: millet, sorghum, quinoa
– Vegetables: roots and tubers such as sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
– Dairy products: yogurt and cheese
– Seafood: salmon and other omega-3-rich fish, shellfish such as clams and mussels
– Meat: chicken, pork, organ meat (beef liver, etc.)
– Fruits: mango, grapefruit, cantaloupe and other fruits rich in vitamin A
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Simple replacement is rarely required

Increase the nutrient density of your family’s meals and snacks by easily substituting your favorite recipes or reimagining your favorite dishes. Sometimes, just a few changes can help you make more nutritious choices. for example:
-Switch from white rice to brown rice.
– Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
– Instead of slathering sour cream on your chili or baked potato, try plain nonfat Greek yogurt.
– When adding toppings to pizza, tacos, and sandwiches, consider adding vegetables instead of meat or cheese.
– Instead of chips, snack on some crunchy vegetables or a handful of nuts.
– Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruits instead of candy or cookies.

Why should there be more emphasis on nutrition?

The basic concept of nutrient density is the amount of nutrients available for each calorie consumed. Think of it like this: Compare the labels to decide between the two packages of bread. Each slice has about 80 calories, but contains almost no vitamins or minerals. The whole grain version has about the same calories, but has more protein, three times the magnesium, and more than twice the fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and zinc. Whole grain options are a more nutritious choice.
By choosing more nutritious foods, you can get the beneficial nutrients your body needs without consuming too many calories. Focus on overall eating patterns rather than individual nutrients or specific foods or food groups.

Don’t underestimate the power of good food

The power of nutrient-dense foods in a healthy diet cannot be overstated. Incorporating these foods into your diet is a great way to promote overall health. Nutrient-rich foods provide many benefits, including weight management, improved digestion, improved mental health, and a strengthened immune system.

After all, the power of nutrient-dense foods lies in their ability to provide the essential nutrients your body needs to function at its best. So, start incorporating these foods into your diet now and enjoy the benefits of a healthier and more nourished body and mind.
(Author: Ms. Shreya Mahajan, Senior Nutritionist, FITPASS)