It used to be that getting older meant slowing down.

But these days, aging has no speed limit. And that’s why it’s as important as ever that you maintain a healthy diet by eating the right foods-foods rich in the energy and nutrients you need to keep going.

Get Essential Nutrients. As you get older, your metabolism begins to slow; thus your caloric intake needs to decrease. Your nutrient requirements, however, stay the same or increase, so it becomes even more important to eat foods rich in essential nutrients.

Add Protein. Protein is essential for maintenance and repair of body tissues and immune system function. Foods that contain vitamins B6 and B12 include lean red meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs and dried beans.

Boost B6 and B12. Vitamins B6 and B12 help turn food into energy, maintain healthy red blood cells and strengthen the immune system. Be sure to include foods in your diet that contain vitamins B6 and B12-lean red meat, whole grains, eggs, fish, skinless poultry and dairy products.

Choose Calcium. Calcium builds strong bones. Be sure to eat at least two servings a day of calcium-rich foods like yogurt, low fat milk and cheese.

Include Iron. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and their role in delivering oxygen to cells, as well as for immune system support. Iron comes from both animal (heme) and plant (non-heme) sources, but is better absorbed from heme iron sources of food. Iron is found abundantly in lean red meat and fortified cereals.

Fiber Up. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy. Add more fiber to your diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dried beans.

Incorporate Zinc. Zinc is needed for tissue repair, wound healing, maintenance of night vision, taste acuity, and hormone production. Eat lean red meat and zinc-rich foods like shellfish.

Choose to Hydrate. Water is the nutrient your body needs in the greatest amount. Water transports nutrients and oxygen to your body’s cells and carries waste products away. Drink at least eight cups of fluid every day to stay properly hydrated.