Let food be your medicine
Let food be your medicine
Camilla Menezes is an independent nutritionist from the beautiful island Madeira. She gives private consultations in Europe and she trains medical professionals on nutrition.
Her favourite way to consult a patient is home visits:
“I love to see what my patients have in their fridge and how they prepare their food. It gives me a better understanding of their habits and I can easily see what recommendations I can give that are also easy to implement in their daily routines.”
Camilla takes into account her patients’ age, physical condition, health issues, level of activity and the climate they live in.
“I am often surprised when visiting older patients that they often don’t know what is good for them. Seniors stick to their eating patterns and don’t realize that their body has developed other nutritious needs over the years.“
Helping people to eat diets that better suit their bodies’ needs to improve health is Camilla’s great passion. She firmly believes that food is an easy way to strengthen the immune system and help prevent diseases like the flu.
“My patients are often surprised how a few changes in their diet can improve their energy levels, their attention span and even their mood. They get less sick simply because their body is stronger and able to better fight viruses.
When you have reached a certain age, there is of course more to protecting yourself against the flu, then simply changing what you eat. But food is an element that is often forgotten when it comes to protecting yourself from the flu.“
With age our physical performance tends to decline, we notice that our muscles and eyesight become weaker and our bones become more fragile. How fast and to what extend these developments affect us can be influenced by the way we live and by our food intake. (1)
Here are some of Camilla´s recommendations for nutrition intake that can help you stay healthy, boost your immune system and prevent you from getting the flu as you age:
- Water intake: Seniors are often dehydrated because they drink too little. This may be because our sense of thirst becomes less sharp as we age. 1.5 litre of water are recommended every day for healthy seniors.(1)
- Vitamin D: As we age our skin becomes less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D.(2) If you have limited sun exposure do make sure you get vitamin D in your diet through fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon; foods fortified with vitamin D like dairy products, orange juice and cereals, as well as cheese and egg yolk. A supplement may be another option and your doctor or nutritionist may be able to help you adapt your diet depending on your personal health conditions.
- Eat your greens: Vegetables (especially leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli (2)), fruit and whole grains are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help you prevent a cold or flu (3) and sharpen your mind as you age (2).
Healthy food cannot only help you live longer, it also makes you feel (and look) better which boosts your mood and self-esteem. When you eat well, you are happier inside and out.