If you think that retirement is the perfect time to eat whatever you want, think again. While you’re free to do whatever pleases you, you’re more susceptible to diseases and injuries. You will need all the help you can get, which is why you must follow a balanced diet. It’s also smart to eat food items with specific health benefits to boost your mind and body. Some types of food can improve your strength while others sharpen your memory

That said, you need to understand that food isn’t a replacement for medicine, and it won’t cure any diseases. However, a healthy diet gives you all the nutrients and vitamins you need to lead a long and happy life. And I’m not discounting the fact that good nutrition contributes to your overall well-being. If you live in hospice care at home, proper meal planning can improve your quality of life.

Some types of food impart benefits that improve your health and help you enjoy your sunset years. Here’s a quick guide to get you started. Add these items to your regular diet if you want to get their benefits.

1. Dark chocolate

Desserts and a balanced diet isn’t exactly the best combination. But just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to curb your sweet tooth. Dark chocolate ticks all the boxes: it’s sweet, and it’s low in fat, sugar, or calories. It’s also packed with antioxidants that minimize your risk of developing heart disease.

You can eat dark chocolate as it is or use it as an ingredient for a low-cal dessert. For instance, you can mix non-fat milk and dark chocolate to create a healthy milkshake. Some people also use dark chocolate for flavoring cakes and cookies.

2. Poultry and eggs

Everyone loves poultry meat and eggs. They’re cheap, plentiful, and easy to cook. And despite popular opinion, poultry can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet. For starters, it gives you much-needed protein without the calorie overload.

Egg yolks are also packed with compounds that strengthen the eyes and help speed up the healing process. In fact, a few studies have revealed that egg consumption can lower the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts.

prepared egg meal

3. Dairy products

Dairy products have gotten a bad rep in recent years, but you shouldn’t discount them just yet. Milk and cheese and everything in between are rich in protein and calcium, strengthening your muscular and skeletal system. They also help improve heart function. If you have dietary restrictions, you can still enjoy dairy products.

If cholesterol is an issue, consider switching your regular whole milk with non-fat or low-fat milk. Cheese is usually excluded from most dairy restrictions, so feel free to gorge on your favorite varieties. You also might want to include yogurt in your regular diet to improve your digestive health.

Most dairy products are consumed directly, but it’s also a major component in cooking and baking. Keep processing to a minimum if you want to derive the most nutrition. A glass of whole milk ensures that everything goes straight to the gut.

4. Berries

Berries may be tiny, but they’re some of the most nutritious fruits out there. Blueberries and blackberries are rich in antioxidants that help speed up the healing process. Strawberries also give you the nutrients you need to strengthen your heart and blood vessels. According to food scientists, regular berry consumption can strengthen mental acuity and slow down the effects of old age.

There are many ways to eat berries. You can eat it as a snack or pour a bowl down a blender to make a healthy smoothie. Some people also sprinkle berries over oatmeal or cereal. The choice is yours.

A final word

These four food items will help ensure a longer and happier life. As this list shows, a healthy diet doesn’t have to be bland and depressing. With the right meal plan, you can create delicious food that’s also healthy.

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