Many times it can be difficult to tell what kind of fruits, vegetables and other foods for seniors are required for proper nutrition. After all, we hear so many different recommendations and opinions from online video bloggers, news channels, and our own friends and family. A good place to start whenever searching for a healthy and nutritious meal for your senior is local farmers markets.
Local farmers markets are also a great way to get your senior out and about for some activity. The produce sold at farmers markets is usually organic and can even help you reduce your carbon print. Here are some of the healthiest options you can find for your senior while out at the farmers market.
Best Foods For Seniors
Fava beans are a yummy additions to any salad or dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Your senior may fondly recall eating boiled fava beans with margarine when they were younger. You can use this classic prep method, or try a new approach through a quick saute in olive oil. You can mix the fava beans with basmati rice and garlic for even more flavor and substance.
Asparagus is a great spring vegetable rich in glutathione, an antioxidant with anti-aging properties that can also help lower risk of cancer. When preparing asparagus, try chopping the stalk into bite-sized bits and sprinkling over salads.
If you’re craving french fries, you can always try a healthy alternative by roasting asparagus spears in the oven with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Asparagus is a miracle food that is healthy and won’t cause any spikes in blood sugar.
Mint is a great herb that flourishes in milder temperatures with plenty of rainfall. Not only is this healthy herb refreshing and tasty, but it also has useful medicinal properties. Mint is a natural aid for digestion and can even help soothe nausea and upset stomachs, something common in older adults.
A great option is sprinkling mint leaves over salad, or steeping in ice water. If you like, you can create a delicious tzatziki sauce with mint, garlic, salt, and diced cucumbers. To make a nice caffeine-free tea you can steep fresh mint leaves in boiling water with a few slices of lemon.
Radishes are another crispy and refreshing root vegetable to add to your salads. They rich in fiber, containing nearly two grams of dietary fiber per cup. Increasing a senior’s fiber supply can help ease the digestive problems that usually plague older adults. Radishes can help ease constipation and improve digestion.
Radishes are generally an acquired taste so try and introduce them gradually if your senior has not tried them before. Radishes can be served in a variety of ways, including raw, roasted, and sauteed.
Green peas are legumes that actually contain among the lowest amount calories and an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Peas are a great food for helping to reduce inflammation and related symptoms such as indigestion, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Garden peas are also high in protein and make for a great side dish when added to salads, pastas, and soups.
Strawberries are a sweet fruit to serve your loved one at any time. Strawberries are good for seniors because they contain lots of Vitamin C and antioxidants that can help with a variety of health problems and illnesses. As you get older, your immune system will gradually become less effective. Getting the correct intake of Vitamin C as you age is vital for continued health and protecting all the cells in your body.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it attacks things that are harmful to your health. It also creates collagen, a vital component in creating skin and connective tissues for wound healing, as well as brain function and metabolizing. Strawberries make for a great addition to plenty of dishes such as yogurt parfaits, smoothies, and salads.
Green onions, or scallions, can add a subtle bit of freshness to any dish. Unlike white onions which are highly acidic and extremely pungent, scallions are rather mild in flavor and texture. Adding bits of scallion to a bowl of chili is a great way to elevate the flavor of the dish and white bottoms can be used for a whole great variety of recipes. You can saute green onions in tomato sauce, add them to scrambled eggs, or sprinkle them atop Asian entrees like noodle dishes, stir-fries, and salads for subtle and distinct flavor.
As seniors get older, their sense of taste and smell are likely to diminish. Instead of mixing salads with bland greens such as romaine and iceberg lettuce, try this lightly bitter leaf arugula. Arugula has a peppery flavor and is rich in selenium, as well as being rich in folate, a B-Vitamin. You can also add arugula to wraps and sandwiches, as well as pizzas and pasta dishes. A cup of arugula contains just five calories and is very rich in calcium and iron.
Artichokes can be one of the most underappreciated vegetables in the game. Artichokes have lots of Vitamin C and K and are packed full of dietary fiber. While many are intimidated by this veggie’s strange shape, the preparation can actually be quite simple. Simply wash, cut off the tops of the buds, peel the stalks, and carefully snip all the thorns remaining. Then, you can boil, steam, grill, bake, or even throw it in the microwave in order to get it prepared for consumption. A classic accompaniment for this dish is a mix of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic.
There you have it! Purchasing these vegetables fresh and crisp at your local farmers market is a great way to ensure that your the food for seniors is full of vitamins and minerals. Plus, you can support local grocers and encourage your senior to get out and be active. Keep these recipes in mind next time you’re looking for a healthy dish to provide your senior with. Visit the Landmark Senior Living blog to learn more about senior resources.