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Best Foods and Healthy Lifestyle After Retirement

Friday, March 17, 2023
Two ladies over 50 enjoying their salad in the kitchen

Whether we want it or not, our lifestyle changes after retirement. This can be unsettling, but look at the bright side. With a good plan, this life event presents an exceptional opportunity to reset, revitalize and reinvent yourself. 

Retirement offers a chance to establish new healthy habits. With more time on your hands, you can focus on your quality of life. Eating a nutritious diet, incorporating regular exercise, remaining active, and remembering to relax and de-stress can all contribute to a healthier and happier retirement.

Best Foods for Health After Retirement 

We tend to put eating healthy food on a back burner during working years, prioritizing job commitments and other obligations. Retirement is a great time to turn a new leaf. Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes. This can be a fun and rewarding way to spend your time. You can experiment with different cuisines and discover new healthy foods to incorporate into your diet, and experiment with your after retirement lifestyle as well.

As we age, our bodies require different types and amounts of nutrients to stay healthy. Our metabolism slows down and our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients. As a result, older adults often require a diet that is higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to maintain optimal health. 

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will provide the nutrients your body needs to function properly. It is also important to limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. Take control of your nutrition regimen. That is one of the most important investments at this stage of life.

As a general rule, strive to have at least three out of the five food groups at each meal. 

What are the Five Food Groups?

The five main food groups are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and dairy. They are important because they give us the nutrients necessary for good health and can reduce the risk of disease. Foods from the five main food groups also keep our diet interesting with different flavors and textures. Being playful with healthy food can make our healthy lifestyle after retirement a fun thing.

 A food photograph representing a healthy breakfast containing salad, avocado, and eggs

Fruits and Veggies

It is not by chance that these two food groups, fruits and vegetables, top our list. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that strengthen immunity. They also provide fiber that benefits digestion and heart health. 

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, which is important for bone health. Fruits like apples, oranges, and pears are rich in vitamin C and potassium, which are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting heart health, while antioxidants-rich berries are truly a super-food. 

Whole Grains

Whole wheat, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and popcorn are high in fiber. These complex carbohydrates will keep you full and will also stabilize blood sugar, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.  


Protein foods include nuts, seeds, legumes, seafood, poultry, eggs and meat. Older adults should focus on getting enough protein, as their bodies may have more difficulty absorbing it. 

Try to limit the consumption of red meat and instead turn to lean proteins. Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower the risk of heart disease. Beans are a low-cost source of protein and fiber, with the added benefit of long shelf life. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds, are also a good source of vitamin E, which is important for skin and eye health.  


Experts used to tell us (and some still do) to consume only low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese). However, a growing body of evidence suggests that full-fat dairy products are not bad for us. They may even be healthier than their low-fat counterparts if consumed in moderation. 

Do some research and make up your own mind about which way to go. In any case, remember that fermented dairy such as yogurt is easier on our digestive system. 

African American multigenerational family taking a selfie while having dinner at home

The Marvelous Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has long been regarded as one of the best foods for health. Research documents its benefits for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, increasing lifespan, and healthy aging. A worthy diet to add to your healthy lifestyle after retirement. 

What exactly is a Mediterranean diet? It is not a distinct cuisine, but a type of eating habit prevalent in the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy, Spain and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Even though those cuisines differ, they have a lot in common. All are based on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, while whole grains, beans, nuts, seafood, lean poultry and unsaturated fat from extra-virgin olive oil. Foods for the Mediterranean diet are easy to find in any grocery and are not expensive. 

To enjoy the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, all you have to do is:

  • Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil every day.
  • Once or twice a week add fish or other seafood to your menu.
  • Consume dairy foods, eggs, and poultry in moderation. 
  • Eat red meat and sweets only occasionally. 
  • Drink red wine in moderation.

Easy and Quick Pasta and Tuna Salad Recipe

To put theory in practice, here is a simple and healthy pasta and tuna salad recipe for your healthy lifestyle after retirement.

Cook bow tie, penne or shell-shaped whole wheat pasta a few minutes longer than the packet suggests. Drain, add olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking and let it cool for about 20 minutes.

When the paste has cooled down, add a can or two of drained tuna and veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with thinly sliced onion, pitted black olives, and crumbled feta cheese. 

Dress with more olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar, dry or fresh herbs such as dill, mint, or basil and ground pepper. Hold the salt, as feta cheese is salty enough. Stir once more and enjoy!

You can put almost any vegetable you can think of into your salad, for example, avocado, julienned carrots, and beetroot. Cauliflower and broccoli florets are also a great addition, but they are easier to digest if cooked first. For extra crunchiness, add some roasted sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. 

The ratio of pasta to other ingredients should be about half-half.

A group of retired Asian American friends laughing and enjoying themselves at home

How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle After Retirement

Eating healthy is just one element of a healthy lifestyle after retirement. Daily physical exercise, spending time with family and friends, sleeping well, and remaining mentally active are equally important.  

The best lifestyle after retirement is one that is active and fulfilling. Many people find that continuing to work, either through part-time employment or volunteering, provides a sense of purpose. Others may find that traveling or pursuing hobbies are a great way to stay engaged. 

Ultimately, the key to a successful retirement is finding a balance between relaxation and activity that suits your needs and preferences.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

As we age, our bodies and minds become less capable of repairing themselves. Drinking a glass too many, skipping sleep, or indulging in a heavy meal will have worse consequences on our physical and mental health in our 50s than it had in our 30s. This quick checklist will help you stay healthy and enjoy an active lifestyle in retirement: 

  • Be physically active to strengthen bones and muscles and improve your health. Strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight to lower the risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 
  • Get enough sleep, because sleep helps restore energy levels and improves both our physical and mental well-being.
  • Spend time with family and friends to keep mentally and emotionally fit.
  • Take up a meaningful activity that gives you a sense of purpose and structures your day. 
  • Learn to relax and manage your stress. Relaxation boosts your immune system, reduces muscle tension, improves brain function and memory, and helps alleviate stress, depression, and anxiety. 
  • Reduce screen time because excessive screen time is linked to eye strain, pain in the neck and shoulders, obesity, diabetes and sleep problems.
  • Drink water often, even if you are not thirsty. Water is crucial for many bodily functions, from pumping blood to the heart to lubricating the joints. Try to include water-rich foods with every meal, such as cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and celery. 
  • Go for annual medical checkups to identify health conditions in the early stages, before they become severe. By getting the right treatment quickly, you are likely to avoid any complications.
Two bowls of fresh fruit and cereals

How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle When Relocating

Relocating to a new home can be a daunting task, especially for people over 50 because they may have more possessions and a greater need for assistance during the moving process. However, with the help of AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft, the transition can be smooth and stress-free.

Shyft is not a traditional moving company. Shyft has developed an entirely new approach to moving by partnering with hundreds of professional moving companies all over the world. Shyft uses state-of-the-art technology to offer superior customer service and create efficient solutions to fit your needs and budget.

One of the main advantages of using AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft is the level of expertise and experience they bring to the table. As a company that specializes in helping people over 50 with their relocation needs, Shyft understands the unique challenges and considerations that come with moving later in life. 

For people in their 50s, it is essential to maintain their healthy lifestyle during a move. The best way to minimize the disruptions and the stress of moving is to call AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft. Shyft will ensure that all of your belongings are safely and securely transported and that the whole process is as easy as possible.

Start by downloading the free mobile app for iPhone or Android device, called Shyft Next. Then schedule a video call with a Shyft representative online or by phone at 1-888-501-3181.

You will be assigned your own dedicated Move Coach who will oversee the whole process, from door to door.

During the video call, you will point the camera on your device at the items you want to take to your new home, and your Move Coach will create an inventory list and advise you about your options and approximate costs.

The list your Move Coach makes during the video call is accurate in 95% of the cases, but you can add or remove items to make it 100% accurate. 

When the list is complete, it goes to a secure Shyft platform, where verified moving companies submit their offers. That way, competitive pricing is guaranteed.

Shyft will send to you three or more top moving quotes, so that you can select the mover that fits your needs and budget. Once you accept a moving quote, the price is locked and cannot be changed, unless you add or remove items, change the move distance, or fail to book your move before the quote expires.

Whichever company is handling the move, your dedicated Move Coach will oversee the entire process from start to finish, making sure the same quality standards apply for all.

Your Move Coach understands that moving to a new home can be an emotional time, and they provide support and guidance to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to relocating for people over 50. Their expertise, range of services, and emotional support make them a great choice for anyone looking to make a move later in life.

With Shyft, AARP members get up to a $250 discount for every move booked, no matter how many times you decide to move and where you decide to move to. 

Learn more about AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft online or you call 1-888-501-3181 to get answers to any questions or concerns you may have. 

Shyft is there for you seven days a week. Book your move now and save up to $250.

Get Free Moving Quotes