Chili dogs may be awesome for the soul, but they may not be so great for the body on a regular basis. Having good nutritional habits is vital to our health---and this is especially true as we age.
Nurturing our bodies with the right foods to live long and live strong--- and nurturing our brains with foods that help maintain cognitive function-- are imperative for overall wellness. Truth is-- what we eat matters
While there are a plethora of nutritional guides advising us on the right foods to incorporate into our diets for better aging, it’s much more difficult to find creative ways to make them taste good. In recognition of National Nutrition Month, we will explore fresh and easy ways for seniors to add healthy superfoods into their daily diet so they can begin wanting what the body needs.
The Power of SUPERFOODS and Antioxidants:
While all fresh vegetables, fruits, and natural meats are dense with nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, certain foods are so rich in nutrients that they are referred to as ‘Superfoods.’
Superfoods are nutrient and antioxidant-packed foods that are notably beneficial to health and wellbeing. Antioxidant-rich superfoods like berries, chia, beans, kale, artichoke, trout, salmon, and seeds are especially important to fight against a myriad of age-related conditions that can impair your memory and thwart your brain function. These foods also help to fight against life-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Pack a Crunch with Seeds and Nuts:
Seeds and nuts are often forgotten. But they are excellent for a grab and go snack. Nuts like walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acid. Mix nuts and seeds into your favorite yogurt or oatmeal. Or grab a handful and eat them by themselves. Chia seeds are mini-powerhouses packed with antioxidants and are a great source of nutrients for seniors. Chia pudding is a tasty way to get all the benefits of the chia seed.
Eat Your Veggies:
You really should listen to your mother. Eat your vegetables-- especially cruciferous ones like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, cabbage, arugula, collard greens, kale, and cauliflower. These are all great foods to easily fuse into your diet. Substitute your tortilla wrap for a leafy green like a collard leaf. Sautéed Brussel sprouts and with a light balsamic glaze. Make a tasty salad. Pack a punch and add kale to your berry smoothie for a ’super’ drink. The possibilities are endless and veggies are versatile. Just get creative.
Don’t forget your Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega- 3 Fatty Acids are essential to good brain health particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Seafood is a fantastic source of Omega- 3 Fatty Acids. Fatty fish like sardines, wild salmon bluefin tuna, and herring are especially high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Substituting meats like ground beef for fish 2 times a week can have a significant impact on your health. If you don’t eat seafood, don’t worry. Seaweed, fish oil and microalgae are all great supplements to get the benefit without eating seafood.
Creating a healthy, happy lifestyle through food might seem like a challenge in the busyness and convenience of today’s world. But choosing to commit to a healthy, happy lifestyle is worth the effort---especially as we age. Being at your healthiest allows you to enjoy time with your family, evenings with friends, and the knowledge that you are taking advantage of every moment you have to live the best life you can. For more information on healthy living in an environment clinically proven to produce positive outcomes in the health and lives of seniors, call Dogwood Forest of Grayson at 678-496-2319. www.dogwoodforest.com