Top Nutritional Foods for Seniors
Eating healthy is essential to our bodies as we age. We know that snacking like we did when we were teenagers is unfortunately not an option for us anymore. Although it can be a struggle, staying healthy by eating healthy as a senior can be beneficial to the way your body stays energized and fights off diseases. In some cases, filling your body with nutritional food can even decrease the amount of medication you are taking by adding in those extra nutrients to your diet.
Here at Cariloop, we understand how difficult it may be to stick with a healthy diet. We strive to encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle by making the right choices for you. There are plenty of nourishing options out there so don’t be afraid to try new something new!
Here are some of the top nutritional foods for seniors:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help to prevent cancer and also help your body to get the most nutrients out of your food. Eating raw or lightly steamed fruits and veggies are some of the best nutritional foods for seniors to get the most vitamins and fiber from their diet. Not only do these types of foods satisfy your hunger, you also get the benefits of lowering your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, reducing high blood pressure, and warding off digestive and eye problems. Easy enough, right?
Some simple fruits and vegetables can include:
Dairy products are filled with calcium and vitamin D, which are crucial for bone health. As you age, bones continue to become weak or brittle which could be caused by a vitamin D or calcium deficiency or diseases such as osteoporosis. Though it is beneficial for everyone to have a steady intake of dairy, it is especially necessary for seniors. Try drinking at least three glasses of milk per day. In just those three glasses, you are getting almost all of the calcium you need!
Essential dairy products to add to your diet:
- Fortified Milk
- Cottage Cheese
- Low fat/Nonfat Cheese
When making a sandwich or noodles for spaghetti night, try using whole grain products instead of refined grains. Choosing whole grains gives your body the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are taken away during the refining process. Seniors can benefit from choosing whole grain foods because they have been known to lower cholesterol and lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes. This powerhouse food source can also give you the energy you need to keep healthy and stay active throughout your day.
Some whole grain options to try:
- Whole Grain Bread
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Brown Rice
Being a backup source of energy when carbohydrates and fat aren’t available, protein is a critical nutrient for seniors. There are plenty of sources of protein in the market to try, but all of them help to strengthen your bones and also help to repair tissues and skin. When choosing a source of protein, meat products are usually the go to source. However, be sure to choose a meat that is lean, such as turkey breast or skinless chicken. These leaner choices give you a great supply of protein without the layer of heart-clogging fats!
Here are some healthy protein choices:
- Pinto Beans
Although water is not technically a type of food, it is just as beneficial to your body and healthy lifestyle. Our bodies contain about 70% of water which our organs and tissues are constantly using. If we aren’t filling our body with water, we could be at risk for daytime fatigue and dehydration. As we age, the need for water and feeling of thirst actually shift. This means that the less water you drink, the less thirsty feel!
Try drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. Especially in these hot summer months, your body may require a little extra. Keep an eye on your water intake and remember to stay hydrated.
Help your loved one to choose more nutritional options in their diet. We hope that these ideas have brought some new foods into your pantry. Cariloop wants to help you to stay healthy and make the right choices for your lifestyle. We love hearing recommendations so let us know what foods are in your kitchen or share some fun, healthy recipes you’ve been making!