A crucial part of elderly caregiving is ensuring that they have a healthy, balanced diet. While you won’t require chef-level skills to do this, you may need to do a bit of research and follow the doctor’s advice. The goal here is to better understand how to help your patient or loved one enjoy their meals while staying healthy.
In this post, we will look at five superfoods that you ought to include in your recipes for seniors.
1. Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers are an excellent choice for any meal. They are low in calories, and one full cup contains a senior’s daily supplements of vitamins A and C. While Vitamin A is good for the eyes, Vitamin C helps keep the immune system healthy.
One of the easy-to-prepare recipes is stuffed bell peppers. Not only is this dish exceptionally delicious but a treat to the eyes as well. Nothing stimulates the appetite more than food that looks as good as it tastes.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and are one of the most versatile and healthy vegetables available for good senior nutrition. It also has a tinge of sweet flavor to it. They naturally possess disease-preventing, cancer-fighting, and immune-boosting qualities. Furthermore, they are good sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as vitamin Bs and C, making them an excellent food choice for those who have arthritis or asthma.
A great dish that you could prepare for older people would be a healthy version of sweet potato casserole. Just make sure you go easy on the butter, depending on cholesterol levels. You can also try using healthy alternatives such as olive oil.
Spinach is filled with essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium, and it is one of the major sources of lutein. It’s an antioxidant that helps prevent clogged arteries, which means it’s great for the heart. Spinach has also been proven to help improve blood flow which is essential for elders.
If not in a full meal, a bowl of garlic-sauteed spinach with a little prepared tender white meat can be a light, healthy lunch.
While most nuts are high in fat, not all fats are bad. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids that can help with inflammation and prevent chronic diseases like cancer. For instance, a small bowl of mixed pistachios, almonds, and peanuts can provide a daily dose of potassium, magnesium, and other minerals. Nuts are also heart-healthy foods that satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full for longer.
You can serve mildly salted or plain nuts for snacking in between meals.
Apples are wonderful fruits for those struggling to maintain their blood sugar or cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber in apples can help lower cholesterol and slow glucose uptake. Apples are also a rich source of potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
While it isn’t advised to serve older adults with desserts or snacks with too much sugar, you can serve alternatives like a healthy version of apple crisp. Here, you use maple syrup instead of caramel to sweeten the dish along with whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour.
So that’s a wrap on the five superfoods that can enrich older adults both by nutrition and helping them enjoy their meals. People go through a lot of physical changes as they grow old. These changes can vary from dental, gastrointestinal, and even taste palate. Hence it is advised that caregivers or family members adjust meals according to your elderly loved one and their needs.