More than 3 million seniors in America are malnourished. As we age, it becomes even more important for senior adults to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Summer is the perfect time to stock the fridge with a colorful array of disease-fighting fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out the following list of fruits and veggies now in season and their health benefits to seniors.
Summer Time Eats Perfect for Seniors
Strawberries: contain antioxidants that help prevent cataracts and reduce inflammation in the joints that may cause arthritis.
Blackberries: contain the minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper, which is required in the bone metabolism as well as in the production of white and red blood cells.
Leeks: contain important the flavonoid kaempferol, which has helps protect the blood vessel linings from damage.
Snap beans: are a low-calorie source of omega-3 fats–the good fat that contributes to cardiovascular health.
Tomatoes: contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene — a combination that helps stave off prostate and pancreatic cancer
Sweet corn: is high in fiber, which plays a big role in preventing digestive problems like constipation and hemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. Corn’s antioxidants also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The USDA suggests adults 50 or older follow a daily diet that includes:
- Fruits—1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups
- Vegetables—2 to 3-1/2 cups
- Grains—5 to 10 ounces
Ex. A small muffin, a slice of bread, a cup of flaked, ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
- Protein —5 to 7 ounces
Ex. One egg, ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- Dairy foods—3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or you can substitute a cup of yogurt or 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese.
- Oils—5 to 8 teaspoons