8 Foods That Have Great Health Benefits
You’ve probably heard by now that what you eat, especially as you age, contributes significantly to your overall health and wellbeing. The internet tells you to eat a balanced, healthy diet and to get as much exercise as you can.
However, seniors who may be cooking for one or who simply don’t like to cook may have difficulty getting good nutrients in their foods—especially if they tend to order take-out or microwave meals. Living in a community like Sunnyside Manor means the cooking is done for you, and our in-house chef has you covered with incredibly nutrient-rich foods like these.
Wild Alaskan Salmon
Salmon is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats have a wealth of benefits, including slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration and potentially reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-3s also have powerful anti-inflammatory agents that have been shown to ease joint pain and stiffness and depression, two ailments that affect mostly older adults.
Blueberries have awesome antioxidants that protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals, which can cause damage to the cells in your body.
High free radical counts in the body have been linked to a wide variety of maladies including cancer, heart disease, and some degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Almost all leafy greens are good for you, but kale is king. Like many of the foods listed here, kale is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food. It is rich in iron, Vitamins A, C and K, and calcium, making it another great alternative to dairy foods for bone health.
Toss some kale into your salad instead of romaine to give it that extra nutritional boost.
Avocados are packed with nutrients and although they are high in fat, the fat found in them is actually very good for you. One study found that people who included an avocado in their diet had lower overall cholesterol levels, lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels, and lower triglyceride levels. Avocados have also been shown to increase HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels.
Avocados are also very calorie-dense, which makes them a great addition for seniors who are looking to increase or maintain a healthy weight. If you’re trying to shed extra weight, be aware!
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and numerous cancers.
Like blueberries, tomatoes are also rich in antioxidants, but unlike many other fruits and vegetables, cooking tomatoes doesn’t lessen their health benefits. In fact, cooking tomatoes actually increases the level of phytochemicals they contain—so roast away!
This may come as a surprise to many since eggs have gotten such a bad rap for having high dietary cholesterol, but there is no evidence that shows that eating eggs raises your serum cholesterol (the number you get from your doctor after a blood test).
In fact, eggs are extremely nutrient-rich, low-calorie, and a great source of high-quality protein. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks. They’re great with almost every other food listed here; try a salmon omelet or eggs and avocado on toast with sun-dried tomatoes!
Almonds are very high in calcium, something particularly important for older Americans. This makes almonds an excellent choice for those who are lactose intolerant or who simply choose not to eat dairy products. Almonds are also high in Vitamin E and are a good source of protein, so they make an excellent snack or topping.
This yellow spice, typically associated with Indian cuisine, has been shown to have powerful health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been shown in numerous studies to help prevent and treat cancer. If you’re finding that your meals have lost flavor as your sense of taste has decreased, try adding some turmeric to spice things up.
Sunnyside offers a best-in-class dining program that ensures residents are having healthy, nutritious meals every day. Our in-house chef and registered dietician help residents with any special dietary needs without compromising quality or flavor. Residents and families can visit the dining room at any point during the day—which means residents can be as social as they like.
The all new Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall, NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing.