What are healthy food options for seniors?
Researchers indicate that our nutritional needs, appetite, and food habits change and our thirst level diminishes as we age.
Educate yourself on how to maintain a healthy diet & drink enough water to stay hydrated & healthy in your golden years. Ask your family physician and or a nutritionist for professional advice customized to your specific health needs. Make a plan of your current eating habits & foods and plan a healthier eating routine.
Healthy aging includes nutritious eating. Seniors need to eat well to remain as healthy as possible to maintain a good quality of life especially if they want to maintain their independence and age in place.
Healthy eating consists of a balance of lean proteins & carbs (whole grain products only), is low in saturated fats, salt (sodium), and sugars. If followed, it helps maintain muscles & strength. Choose some of the below healthy food & superfood options:
Smart protein choices:
Lean meats including poultry (excludes red meats)
Seafood: salmon, sardines, oysters.
Low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt & cheese
Dairy substitutes such as soy milk
Eggs or egg substitutes
Legumes (all beans & peas including chickpeas)
Unfermented soy products (tofu, soymilk, edamame, soy nuts & bean sprouts)
Low-fat nuts & seeds
Many plant foods are superfoods because they are low in fat and rich in phytochemicals & antioxidants that can help reduce health risks while preventing chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and diseases like cancer. Cruciferous vegetables for example, are very rich in vitamins & minerals and contain anti-cancer properties.
Some superfoods are:
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, radishes, arugula, swiss chard & more)
Berries (especially blackberries)
Low-fat nuts such as walnuts
Choose whole grains as they contain fiber that is crucially important for blood sugar control & controls weight:
Wild or brown rice
Whole grain pasta & breads
Tortillas & multigrain buns
Oatmeal & Quinoa
Your healthy eating should consist of foods that reduce inflammation with important nutrients:
Omega 3 fats: salmon, walnuts, olive & canola, extra virgin, canola oil, flax seeds.
Vitamin C and vitamin E: citrus fruits & vegetables contain Vit C. Consume seeds, nuts & leafy greens for Vitamin E intake.
Prebiotic foods for better digestive health: artichokes, onions, whole grains, asparagus, leeks, garlic, sweet potatoes, and legumes.
Probiotic foods: yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir that help promote healthy bacteria in your guts.
Consider a healthy traditional Mediterranean diet which includes:
Fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and other grains, potatoes, beans, nuts & seeds
Olive oil as a primary fat source
Fish and poultry instead of red meats
Plant-based foods, minimally processed
Wine in low amounts, usually with meals.
Fruit for dessert to replace baked sweets
It is promoted by health care professionals to decrease the risk of heart disease, depression, and dementia. Combined with low-impact physical activity, it is known to reduce physical & mental health issues.
Natalie Lehr-Splawinski, Marketing Manager, on behalf of Diane Miller, RN.
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