5 Healthy Food Choices for Seniors
Regardless of your age, making nutritious food choices is integral to your overall health. It should go without saying, however, that the older we get, the more attention we should pay to what we put in our bodies. Older adults can enjoy good health by making simple adjustments to their diets.
As Canada’s Food Guide makes clear, healthy eating should be a habit. A nutritious diet is one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods and proteins. Here are five healthy food choices for seniors:
To be honest, there isn’t any one fruit or vegetable we can list that is more important than any other. If your food choice belongs in this all-important food group, go ahead and eat it! With that said, you may want to pay particularly close attention to berries such as strawberries and blueberries. They are known for being rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, fibre and manganese (needed for normal functioning of the brain).
Be sure to include plenty of apples, bananas, oranges, carrots, broccoli and that wonderful superfood, avocados in your diet too!
Whole grains are natural energy boosters. They contain sources of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. As well, they are fibre-rich, which helps regulate healthy bowel movements and heal the gut. Whole grain foods, such as oatmeal, are also known to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, maintain weight and even prevent certain cancers.
“Eat whole grains (such as oatmeal, whole grain bread),” recommends Alberta Health Services, “They provide fibre and many vitamins and minerals needed for overall health.”
It is highly recommended that you eat plenty of plant-based proteins such as lentils, chickpeas and almonds. When it comes to animal-based proteins, however, eggs are among the most nutritious food choices you can make. Although eggs were once cautioned against for their cholesterol content, research has shown that they provide many health benefits.
One egg has only 75 calories, but seven grams of high-quality protein. They also contain iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (which act as antioxidants). As well, since eggs are naturally soft, My Health Alberta recommends them for seniors who have problems that make it hard to chew.
When it comes to animal-based proteins, salmon is arguably the most nutritious source you can find. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium, selenium and all of the B vitamins. Thanks to its high omega-3 content, salmon is heralded for being able to lower the risk of heart disease. In addition, according to Alberta Health Services, salmon is a key source of Vitamin D.
“Not having enough vitamin D can affect muscle strength,” notes their website, “It’s also important for your immune system.”
So how did a non-food make it on a list of healthy food choices? Make no mistake about it. Daily water intake is essential for all of us. For seniors, drinking plenty of water each day is required for enhancing their metabolism, boosting brain function, maintaining urinary health and improving digestion. Not to mention, staying hydrated is vital for people of all ages.
Have any questions about how to assist your elderly loved one or to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to call Senior Homecare by Angels at 403-862-0129 or if outside of Calgary, toll-free at 1-877-209-6142. You may also visit the Contact Us page to complete and submit a simple inquiry form.
Gerry Gatto is a trained health care administrator and the owner of Senior Homecare® By Angels a Calgary based company. Helping Calgary seniors remain in their homes and maintain their independence with the assistance of a dedicated caregiver.