Have you ever heard of the term ‘Superfood’? While it has become a common buzzword over the past decade, some people still don’t know what it means. Actually, it’s quite simple, and boils down to this: in order to be considered a superfood, a food must be rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, soluble fibers, as well as other nutrients that help support organ health.
While that may seem like a pretty lofty list of traits for any one singular food, it is actually quite common! On this blog, we have prepared a list of seven superfoods that can easily be added to your senior loved one’s diet. After all, maintaining good nutrition is vital for staying healthy and combating illness or disease.
So, what superfoods should you include into a balanced diet? Whether your senior loved one lives at home or resides in Oceanside senior living, keep reading to learn more!
1.) Dark Chocolate
This tends to be everyone’s favorite contender on the list, and we like to start off strong! Dark chocolate is actually quite rich in antioxidants, which are instrumental in preventing clogging in your arteries which in turn, decreases your risk for a heart attack.
When looking at dark chocolate, however, try to choose options that are 70% cocoa or darker. Unfortunately, milk chocolate, while still tasty, does not have the same superfood benefits. Although you can’t have dark chocolate for every meal, having some as an occasional snack or dessert is the perfect way to treat yourself!
Lowering cholesterol levels, decreasing blood pressure, and bettering eye and bone health are just a few of the benefits that kale brings to the table. This leafy, green vegetable is rich in an antioxidant called lutein, which is known to help contribute to eye health as well as prevent the build up of fats along the artery walls.
Though if your senior loved one is on blood thinners for whatever reason, it is important to talk to their doctor before making this a regular part of their diet. This is because kale is also rich in vitamin K.
We understand that kale isn’t the most appetizing of veggies to consume on it’s own, so try mixing things up (literally!) by tossing a handful into the blender with fruits, ice, and Greek yogurt. This will make a delicious, fruity smoothie for breakfast without any of the veggie taste.
When your plate has a variety of natural colors and textures on it, you know it’s a good sign that you are about to have a nutritionally diverse meal. Blueberries are a great way to add a pop of color and some fresh fruit to your dish! They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, help to reduce inflammation, and may even work to lower cholesterol. Wow! That is quite the resume!
Blueberries are so easy to add to meals, especially at breakfast or to have for a snack. Throw a handful on top of some whole-grain pancakes, including blueberries into a smoothie with your kale, or even put a spoonful in a bowl of high-fiber cereal. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
Oatmeal is always a great go-to for breakfast for seniors, especially those in Oceanside senior living. It is simple to make on the stove top or microwave, you can mix it up by adding fruits or flavorings, and it is easy to eat and digest thanks to its texture.
Since it is a whole grain, it is great for your heart health! And what earns it the status of ‘superfood’ comes from the fact that it is high in soluble fiber which can help to lower cholesterol. Oatmeal also contains protein, iron, and other necessary minerals. To double up on your superfoods, toss a handful of blueberries on top to make your breakfast naturally sweeter!
This veggie is both versatile and delicious! Asparagus is packed with vitamins and nutrients that are vital to senior health, including vitamin A that contributes to a stronger immune system, helps with eye health, and can even reduce cholesterol. Also, as an added bonus for men, it can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Not only that, but the fiber content present can actually support a good type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tract.
Try baking asparagus and topping with a bit of parmesan cheese and light salt and pepper and putting it on the side of your favorite chicken or salmon dish. Not only will it add some color to your plate, but it will also amp up the flavor, too!
Nuts, as a food group in general, are extremely healthy. However, walnuts are among the best for you. They contain an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha lino-lenic acid, which actually is an anti-inflammatory that protects against cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. The cardiovascular benefits don’t stop there, though, as walnuts can even help improve the body’s overall blood flow. Pretty impressive for such a small food, right?
Walnuts make for a great snack to keep on hand, or can be included into baked goods: banana bread anyone? What about dark chocolate brownies with walnuts on top? Sounds like another great way to combine some superfoods together!
If you’re a resident at Oceanside senior living, you are probably no stranger to eating fish. Salmon is a delicious, heart healthy food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acid. Working to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease, it’s no wonder it is classed a superfood. In fact, salmon is a great addition to any senior’s diet because it can help to build up cell membranes, which may actually help prevent or slow the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Oceanside Senior Living
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of superfoods, they are some of the most common and affordable options out there. Just a few minor changes and adding these are a regular part of your diet can make a huge difference.
Here at Heritage Hills, our Oceanside senior living community is proud to serve our residents the best food, offering up a variety at each meal. We know the value of eating good, nutritious food that is also delicious.
Don’t wait – start adding in these amazing superfoods to your diet right away!