Healthy Eating for Seniors
Chow Down on These 5 Foods
Eating well is important at all stages in life, but healthy eating for seniors is especially important in maintaining strength and giving the body the vitamins and nutrients it needs. A healthy diet for an older adult may not include as many calories as a diet for a younger person, but it’s still important for seniors to eat plenty of nutritious foods packed with essential minerals. Medical knowledge about healthy eating for seniors has come a long way recently, and nutritionists are now able to recommend specific foods that will help keep older adults strong and healthy for many years to come. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, throw a few of these items in your cart:
Milk is perhaps the easiest way to get calcium, a mineral that’s vital for strong bones and healthy bone growth. It’s especially important for older women to get enough calcium, so don’t skip the milk. If you’re looking for a low-fat option in your diet, go with skim milk or 1% milk rather than whole. Use milk in your cereal, in recipes, and in baking, or simply enjoy a couple of plain tall glasses every day.
Salmon is prized as a food in healthy eating for seniors because it’s high in protein, vitamin D, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some research has also shown that eating salmon several times per week could be beneficial for older adults with arthritis, as salmon can help reduce joint inflammation. If you don’t live in an area where fresh salmon is readily available, try sardines for a similar anti-inflammatory effect.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which fight damage to cells in the body and may even fight diseases such as cancer. Specifically, blueberries can help keep your vision sharp and pump up your daily dose of dietary fiber.
As part of a diet of healthy eating for seniors, sprinkle fresh blueberries on cereal or use them in a yogurt parfait for a blast of protein and vitamin C. They can also be used in smoothies or just eaten raw as a snack.
Whole grains are important for seniors who want to stay healthy—many food guides recommend 5-12 servings of whole grains per day for elderly adults. Oatmeal is a powerful food that can keep the heart strong and help reduce cholesterol. It also slows digestion and is high in fiber, so if you’re trying to lose weight, it will cause you to feel fuller for longer. 5. Kale (or other leafy greens)
Don’t pass by that produce aisle in the supermarket! Leafy greens are a great choice for healthy seniors, and the more color they have, the more nutrition they provide. Most seniors don’t get enough servings of fruits and vegetables every day and don’t have the variety of these foods that they need in their diets.
Along with salmon, kale can help reduce inflammation, and its high calcium and beta carotene content also make it a valuable food for building bone strength and keeping sharp vision.