For seniors, a nutritious diet plays a significant role in overall health. You can lower your risk of medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer by eating right. But what does a healthy diet entail? We’ve put together a list of eight “superfoods” the experts tell us are nutrition powerhouses for healthy aging.
- Fruits and Vegetables
You’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again: Eat your fruits and vegetables! The antioxidants in deeply colored fresh produce — think blueberries, tomatoes and leafy greens like spinach — help prevent damage to your body’s healthy cells. At every meal, aim for filling half your plate with vegetables and fruit, for a total of five to nine servings daily.
Technically, avocado is a fruit, but we think this little bundle of green goodness deserves its own mention. Avocados are packed with nutrients that can contribute to aging well, including healthy fats, folate, potassium and antioxidants.
Nuts also provide an abundance of healthy fats, and a study found that snacking on these crunchy treats reduced the chances of high cholesterol and high blood pressure by approximately 20 percent. To get the benefits, you only need a tiny amount, experts say: a quarter of an ounce, or four almonds!
- Whole Grains
Fiber-rich whole grains like wheat, barley, brown rice and oats can reduce the odds that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes. Working some whole-grain goodness into your day also can help keep your blood vessels healthy. Try to get three servings each day.
Three decades ago, researchers found that Inuit natives in Alaska had incredibly low rates of heart disease. Scientists now believe the natives’ extraordinary heart health was due to all the fish they ate. The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty varieties of fish can help reduce your odds of having a stroke, help protect your heart health, and even ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
- Olive Oil
Monounsaturated fats and healthy plant compounds play a starring role in olive oil. This delicious oil also lacks the trans fats that are present in margarine and processed foods. For best taste and most health benefits, choose the extra-virgin variety.
Legumes contain high levels of fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help your blood sugar and insulin levels remain steady. They also provide muscle-building protein without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in meat.
This creamy delight can help boost your health as you age in a number of ways. It packs plenty of protein, which is important for tissue repair and cell growth. It also includes a healthy dose of probiotics, which boosts your digestive system and stops the buildup of harmful bacteria that can damage the immune system. Yogurt also contains vital nutrients like B12 and potassium. Maintain Your Healthy Lifestyle If you’re looking for a senior living community that supports your active and healthy lifestyle, consider Gull Creek. We’re just a short drive from Maryland’s beautiful beaches, and we offer a variety of services and amenities to help you continue living vibrantly. Please contact us today to learn more.