Dr. Theresa Nicassio equates healthy food choices with better lifestyle

By Christine Blanchette
When it comes to healthy eating for older adults, according to Canada’s Food Guide, “Healthy eating can help promote and protect health and well-being, provide energy and essential nutrients to maintain health, prevent or lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease , type 2 diabetes, prevent muscle and bone loss to reduce your risk of falling or breaking your bones.” The Food Guide also mentions that, “Cooking and eating healthy food does not have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive.”
Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a registered psychologist and the author of the award-winning cookbook, YUM. She explains in our Q&A that, “it actually can be far easier and less time consuming to prepare your own farm or garden totable meals than eating out.” She also shares some healthy food choices for active older adults, along with a recipe.
Q: What are some of the best healthy food choices for active older adults?
A: One of the greatest challenges for many active older adults is remembering to care for the very vessel that makes their amazing lives possible. Taking time and caring for others and attending to multiple responsibilities at work, in your family, and in your community can inadvertently lead to the belief that there is not enough time to prepare beautiful food to nourish your body. And while exercise is an invaluable gift for yourself, it doesn’t replace the nourishment of quality unprocessed nutrient-rich ‘fuel’ that is free of toxic chemicals.
You matter. This mindset shift is important for everyone, but especially when we get older. As we age, our body requires more support to stay vibrant, supple, and strong. Because of this, making food choices that are hydrating and nutritious, like water-dense vegetables and fruits, is a fantastic place to start. Avoiding foods that have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals is important for many reasons, not the least of which is the reduced burden they place on our already overworked body’s detoxification system. Nothing beats untampered food straight from the healthiest of chemical-free organic soil.
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