One of the best secrets to aging well is starting with the foods we put on our plates. Keeping a balanced diet, filled with superfoods, can help seniors maintain healthy cognitive function, strong bones, and even prevent chronic disease.
Try adding these 8 foods to your diet to supercharge your day. (Note: Be sure to consult with your primary care physician before making any changes to your diet.)
1. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are rich in carotenoids, which have been shown to protect the eyes against oxidative damage. They are loaded with vitamins A and C, which help protect the heart and moderate blood pressure levels. Vitamin K is another leafy-green nutrient, found to play a major role in preventing osteoporosis. Examples include:
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Bok Choy
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
This veggie family includes broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and turnips, which are all of great sources of fiber, vitamins, and cancer-preventing phytochemicals.
Studies show that blueberries have positive neurocognitive effects in both animals and humans that may they may help delay age-related cognitive decline as a result. Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help protect our cells against free-radical damage and reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer.
4. Nuts and Seed
Nuts are packed with 1) Antioxidants 2) Fiber 3) Plant protein. 4) *monounsaturated fats
(*Monounsaturated fats are thought to help lower heart disease risk. As long as the older adult you care for has no known allergies)
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and protect the heart and liver. Hemp seed and flax seeds are also high in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids (Note: Nuts and seeds are high in fat and calories, so it's best to limit consumption to a small handful each day.)
Despite the cholesterol controversies over the years, skipping the yolk could deprive older adults of key nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. This superfood is an ideal choice for a hearty breakfast since it is high in protein
Egg yolks also contain
- choline, which is a nutrient and neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and memory.
- Older adults can consume up to three eggs per day (unless otherwise instructed by their doctor)
Fatty fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and tuna steak) are high in protein, which is important for preserving muscle mass in older adults. It's also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower heart disease risk.
7. Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which help us maintain gut health. Probiotics have been shown to aid in digestion, boost immune function, and even prevent infection.
Just one cup has 17 grams of protein as well as 20% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.
Avocado is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, and other nutrients that promote overall wellness. Try incorporating it into a fruit smoothie to add a creamier texture.
Need help during your next grocery trip? Give us a call at 808-202-2010 or complete the form at the bottom of this page to submit an inquiry. Our caregivers can assist with grocery shopping and picking the right superfoods for you.