I'm excited to share my own Senior Vegan Food Pyramid (*) with you.
It is the guidance that I have used for years to vastly improve my diet and nutrition - and now I live with an abundance of health and energy.
What's more - it is completely adaptable to your needs and preferences. How great is that?
While they show my personal way of accomplishing the healthy senior life I enjoy today, the blocks of this pyramid (numbered 1 to 6) may give you some helpful ideas regarding your own nutritional needs.
(1) Fatty plant foods
These include avocados, olives, tree nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts), peanuts [technically legumes], chia, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts
(2) Leafy green vegetables
Collards, spinach, Swiss chard, endive, dandelion, turnip greens, beet greens, arugula, mustard greens, Romaine lettuce
Lentils, all kinds of beans, peas – I'll include here sprouted legumes and seeds, as sprouts are incredible sources of high-powered nutrition (see Power Foods)
(4) Whole Grains
Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and chia [both technically seeds], oats, millet, barley, wheat – I'll include here whole grain pasta (I can't do without)
(5) Other vegetables
(6) Fruits and berries
Simply too many to name individually. I love them all.
I was going to boldface my favorites, but realized that they ALL are my favorites. They truly are.
Another thing I'd like to mention here.
I don't specifically measure portions or amounts of my food. I just eat as many different whole food items as I feel the hunger for (or have available) on a daily basis.
Simply looking at the enormous variety of plant foods available to us today, how can anyone say that a plant-based diet is boring?
Well, I deserve better than these three. So do you.
As we get older, we experience some decrease in muscle mass (and therefore in our basal metabolic rate) due to a reduction in physical activity.
So, our necessary caloric food intake is somewhat reduced. This of course requires that our variety of plant-based nutrition be even more nutrient-dense.
I'm talking about dietary fiber -- to reduce your risk of colon problems (please see Colonoscopy Procedure) and coronary heart disease.
As your fiber intake increases, so must your fluid intake (see the special note at the base of the above senior vegan food pyramid).
I'm also talking about vitamins and minerals – most of them you get in your plant-based diet. But there are a few I want to point to here.
As mentioned on my page on Vegan Nutrition, I recommend that everyone on a purely plant-based diet and/or over the age of 50 take supplemental vitamin B12.
I recommend that everyone over the age of 50 get extra vitamin D.
My own diet is perfectly sufficient in vitamin E, folic acid, and the minerals magnesium, calcium and zinc.
But you may want to make sure you get the right amounts of these vital nutrients, as they are not specifically noted on my senior vegan food pyramid.
You may wonder why protein is not on the vegan food pyramid.
Well, it is…
It is found in practically every single plant on earth.
I do not share America's obsession with protein. Americans have been "brainwashed" for the last 150 years or so by the powerful meat and dairy industry into thinking that we all need obscene amounts of protein (animal-based of course).
I'm a long distance runner and fitness trainer – and I get plenty of protein from my well-balanced diet to keep me strong and vibrant. Ask me how…
If you're like me, you want to eat intelligently – and thus add enjoyable years to your senior life.
(*) This is not a government agency's "official" pyramid. Nor is it recommended by outfits like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. My personal vegan food pyramid is not meant to replace professional advice by "nutrition experts."
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