Which Foods Boost Energy and Improve Cognition? Nutrition Tips for Seniors
Proper nutrition is one of the hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle, but our nutrition needs change as we move through the various stages of life. Senior nutrition is especially important because a healthy diet can improve mental acuity, prevent disease and illness, produce higher energy levels, and lead to a happier and more balanced lifestyle. Read on to learn which foods are ideal for a senior nutrition program, as well as some general nutrition tips for seniors that will make healthy eating easy and delicious!
If you've never heard of coconut oil, it may seem like a strange concept. But coconut oil is an affordable, natural oil that is widely available at grocery stores near Salt Lake City, UT. Coconut oil is loaded with good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol), and studies have shown good cholesterol can potentially help to manage diabetes, improve oral health, aid in digestion, and assist with weight management.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies are an important aspect of nutrition for the elderly. Each fruit and vegetable provides distinct health benefits, but they all offer extra fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Fruits contain natural sugars and can help deter your sweet tooth. Choose whole fruits to increase your fiber intake and limit calories. When selecting vegetables, it’s best to choose the most colorful options available – think orange carrots, yellow squash, green kale, and purple eggplant. Aim for 2 to 3 servings of fruit and 2 to 3 servings of veggies every day.
Healthy eating for seniors also involves consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to boost metabolism, protect against cardiac issues, reduce inflammation, and boost mental health. Further research is still needed to determine if omega-3s are beneficial for cognitive aging and the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This valuable fatty acid can be found in edible seeds, seed oils, walnuts, fish oils, egg oils, and dietary supplements.
Protein is essential for active senior living. The amount necessary per person is dependent on age, gender, and body weight. Protein is easy to incorporate into your daily diet, and is likely in the foods you already consume, including fish, almonds, chicken, oats, broccoli, eggs, nuts, beans, milk, cheese, and Greek yogurt. Eating the proper amount of protein daily is extremely important, as this component is used by the body to build and repair tissues, bones, cartilage, muscles, skin, and blood.
Chocolate is a favorite of ours at Canyon Creek, and for good reason. Chocolate has the potential to lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and reduce the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate in particular can reduce cardiovascular risk because of its inflammation-fighting properties. Nutrition for the elderly doesn’t have to be boring, so go ahead and indulge in some chocolate for dessert, but keep the rest of your meals balanced and properly portioned.
Proper nutrition for seniors is vital for a healthy and happy life, and can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, disease, and aging. These general guidelines will help most individuals, but if you have specific concerns or questions, please contact our staff or a registered dietitian for tailored information and a customized diet plan.
If you’re interested in learning more about active senior living in Cottonwood Heights, UT, or would like to schedule a tour or join us for a meal, please contact us today!
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