Are you or someone you love looking for the best foods for seniors to eat?
The nutritional health of seniors is important to consider as a family caregiver or if you’re the one putting together nursing home dining menus.
In this article, explore the best food for seniors to encourage a healthy body and mind. Read on to discover the best food for old age, and how it can impact wellness.
Promote Healthy Eating for Senior Citizens
Whether you’re going for the Mediterranean diet or full-on veganism, a primarily plant-based diet is exceedingly beneficial for everyone’s health. At any age, fresh pesticide-free produce, preferably from your own farm, is the best food you can eat. But what food should older adults, in particular, be eating? Let’s discuss what food is good for old age.
Disclaimer: If you want to find information on a specific diet for senior citizens, we recommend contacting your loved one’s (or your own) physician. Some medications may interact poorly with certain foods, so you’ll need to clear any new diet additions or restrictions with your general practitioner.
The Best Food for Seniors
Everyone knows you need to eat your fruits and vegetables, but senior citizens need certain foods more than others to combat cognitive and physical decline.
Consider incorporating the following healthy food for senior citizens’ diets:
Citrus Fruits for Immunity
Seniors should eat plenty of citrus fruits to obtain enough vitamin C in their day. Vitamin C is known to produce antibodies, which boost immunity and help older adults fight off infections. Some examples of vitamin C rich foods are oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, tangerines, grapefruit, and strawberries.
Bananas for Energy (and Healthy Blood Pressure)
Looking for the best energy food for the elderly? Eat bananas to refuel throughout the day. After a long walk, bananas can recharge and replenish you. Bananas are a great source of energy and rich in potassium, which positively affects blood pressure.
Spinach for Iron
Spinach is one of the richest sources of iron. Older adults should eat spinach regularly to prevent anemia, which results from iron deficiency. One cup of boiled spinach equates to over 30% of your daily iron needs. Other iron-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, lentils, clams, and oysters.
Blueberries: Brain Food for Older Adults
Blueberries are an underrated brain-boosting food for older adults. In one study, those who ate blueberries regularly experienced a slower cognitive decline than those who didn’t. Another study notes that blueberries may reduce age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Fish for Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not everyone is ready or open to an entirely plant-based diet. A pescatarian diet is a good middle-ground because it includes fish and eggs.
Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps prevent inflammation that causes heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
If you decide to incorporate fish, be aware that some fish have higher mercury levels than others. A good rule of thumb is to pick smaller fish. The bigger fish have fewer predators, which means they’re in the water for longer and more likely to have mercury in their system.
Avoid fish that tend to have higher levels of mercury:
- King Mackerel
Better fish options include:
- Alaskan salmon
A plant-based alternative for healthy omega-3 fatty acids include nuts, like walnuts.
What Kind of Food Is Suitable for Elderly Adults Who Are Picky Eaters?
If you’re having trouble with seniors eating individual foods, mix them up!
Choose to incorporate different healthy foods listed above in a hearty salad using romaine or kale as the base. Instead of choosing a high-fat salad dressing, use a vinaigrette as a healthier option. Or go with the classic combo of olive oil and vinegar on your salad.
Smoothies and pureeing food for the elderly are also good ways to get them the nutrients they need. You can easily slip in a handful of greens to smoothies for older adults who are picky eaters, such as kale and spinach.
Fruit and Veggies Smoothies for Seniors
Blending up a quick fruit and veggie smoothie is a great way to make vitamised food for the elderly, especially those who have trouble chewing.
Refreshing Green Smoothie
- ½ frozen banana
- ½ cup spinach
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup of coconut water
- Handful of ice
Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie
- ½ frozen banana
- ½ c frozen organic strawberries
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp organic cacao powder (nature’s dark chocolate)
To add more fiber into these smoothies, consider adding organic rolled oats.
Exploring The Best Food for Seniors
When choosing the best food for seniors, try to avoid processed options. Processed means it’s not in its original form anymore. Some examples of processed foods are frozen dinners and deli meats, which are very high in sodium.
Choose whole, organic foods, and when possible, buy local.
Now that you’ve explored the best food for seniors, what if you could grow this produce on-site?
Contact Babylon Micro-Farms, located in Charlottesville, VA, to talk about installing a vertical farming system at your assisted living or nursing home.