There are several healthy foods for seniors that can significantly improve health and reduce the need for certain medications. Eating a healthy diet is important for physical and mental health and overall well-being. For seniors, eating healthy can improve cognitive functions and bone strength, boost energy, and extend life expectancy.
At Ventana, we understand the importance of healthy eating habits for seniors and offer our residents a variety of healthy meal options by renowned Texas chef Stephan Pyles. He has created five unique dining experiences and healthy meal options. Our team can create meal plans for residents requiring special diets or food restrictions due to illness, certain medications, or surgery.
The Benefits of Healthy Eating for Seniors
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a healthy diet involves a mix of protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. While some believe a healthy diet equals a bland diet, that is untrue. Plenty of seasonings and spices can make any healthy meal flavorful and satisfying. Plus, eating a healthy diet means you can still enjoy your favorite desserts.
A healthy diet can also decrease symptoms of certain chronic diseases and lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes, and certain cancers. Other benefits of healthy eating for seniors include:
- Build muscle and bone strength
- Improve brain function
- Give your immune system a boost
- Increase energy and focus
- Improve organ function
- Decrease the risk of diarrhea and incontinence
- Improve overall gut health
The sooner you start eating a healthy diet, the better. You will experience a wide range of health benefits. It can also open you up to other healthy living activities like growing your foods and creating new recipes.
5 Healthy Foods for Seniors
Knowing the importance of healthy eating habits for seniors can introduce you to new foods and an abundance of physical and mental health benefits. Plus, cooking with friends and family is a fun social activity. Here are five healthy foods for seniors:
- Spinach – This dark leafy green vegetable is rich in carotenoids, which protect your eyes. It also contains vitamins A and C for the heart and blood pressure and vitamin K to help prevent osteoporosis.
- Broccoli – This superfood is a type of cruciferous vegetable and an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and cancer-preventing phytochemicals. Other types of healthy vegetables in this family include cabbage, brussels sprouts, and turnips.
- Blueberries – These berries contain antioxidants and compounds that protect cells from free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Eating blueberries has a positive neurocognitive effect and may delay dementia and other age-related cognitive decline.
- Nuts and seeds – Almonds, pistachios, and peanuts are packed with antioxidants, fiber, plant protein, and monounsaturated fats. They have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol levels, and can minimize the effects of type II diabetes.
- Fish – Protein is an important part of a healthy diet for seniors. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein and can reduce artery inflammation, maintain blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. Other healthy fish types include herring, mackerel, trout, and tuna.
These are just a few of the healthy foods for seniors who are looking to improve their physical and mental health more holistically. Check with your doctor before experimenting with new foods to prevent any reactions to medications.
Join Ventana’s Senior Living Community for a Healthy Culinary Experience
At Ventana, we understand the importance of setting healthy eating habits for seniors. Our residents enjoy a wide range of healthy dining choices within our community, or they can cook healthy meals in their kitchens. If you feel like dining out, our culinary options include Café Americano, Mediterraneo, The Landing, Dorado, and The Sky Lounge.