Lets face it; we could all eat a bit healthier than we do. Life gets in the way, we get busy, and it’s all too easy to eat a bag of cookies instead of taking the time to cook a proper meal. However, eating healthy becomes even more important for as people age. Here is a list of 6 super foods for seniors that you should add to your diet immediately.
6. Fish and Shellfish
Fish, particularly fatty fish, have a high Omega-3 content. Eating wild caught fish like Alaskan Salmon is an easy way to get lots of nutrients while still eating a small portion. Just 3 ounces contains a day’s worth of Omega 3’s. Shellfish like oysters and clams are considered lean proteins because they have a lower fat content and are high in protein and iron. For seniors who need to add more B12 to their diets, steamed clams can be an excellent choice.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes are a nutrient dense powerhouse of a vegetable. One medium potato contains 400% of your daily-recommended dose of vitamin A. They also contain fiber and potassium, which are necessary nutrients for people with diabetes or high blood pressure. Foods that are high in fiber are good for your digestive tract and can help seniors who might suffer from constipation. Overall, sweet potatoes contain more natural sugars than regular potatoes but they have a much better nutrient to calorie ratio.
Popeye the Sailor Man was promoting this super food before the term super food even existed. Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as other nutrients like calcium and magnesium. Spinach can be sautéed in a matter of minutes, which makes it the perfect vegetable to prepare last minute or if you are not in the mood to cook anything elaborate. Just one cup of fresh, organic spinach contains double the daily-recommended dose of vitamin K. Make Popeye proud and start adding more spinach to your diet.
Mushrooms are great for seniors because they are a source of lean protein and do not contain any cholesterol or fat and only small amounts of carbohydrates. Mushrooms are a fantastic source of iron, which is necessary for anemic patients. Many diabetics eat a mushroom rich diet because they can assist the body with breaking down with sugar and starch. Specialty grocery stores sell a myriad of mushrooms so you can experiment and see which types you like the best.
Pistachios have a better potassium and vitamin K to calorie ratio than any other kind of nut. A single ounce serving of pistachios contains approximately 160 calories and a whole host of nutrients including 6 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat, 2 of which are saturated fat. Pistachios also include 10% of the daily necessary dose of magnesium. The fiber content of pistachios, about 3 grams, makes them a filling snack to munch on. Next time you are craving a salty snack try trading in your potato chips for pistachios.
Okay, so water isn’t a food but it’s still the most important thing for senior citizens, or anyone, to add to their diet. Approximately 60% of the human body is composed of water. Water helps your body perform all kinds of important functions like transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature, and aiding in digestion. There are cosmetic benefits to drinking plenty of water as well. Dehydration can lead to dry and wrinkled skin. In fact, even mild dehydration can lead to impaired mood, memory, and concentration in older adults.
While it might seem impossible to change your diet overnight, supplementing with vegetables and lean proteins is an easy and delicious way to start. Substituting water for other drinks is an easy way to cut out unnecessary calories. Instead of drinking soda or artificial flavored juices, try using an infusion pitcher to add lemons, strawberries, or even herbs like basil to give your water an interesting twist. If you have any recipes or other recommendations of super foods for seniors please let us know in the comments section below.