Superfoods sound like a magic bullet for your diet that banishes all the bad things in your body. Unfortunately, there's no such thing. Superfoods are simply highly nutritious foods that tend to pack a powerful punch when it comes to providing certain vitamins and minerals.
Understanding superfoods can be important for seniors because it can help them know what ingredients they might want to increase in their diets to support overall wellness. However, it's also important to realize that what's good for one person isn't necessarily good for all, and all food should be consumed in moderation.
If you have questions about the right foods for your diet, talk to a health care provider. Residents at Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Loveland can get help right in the community from our staff and enjoy nutritious meals that include many superfoods in the dining area.
For those looking to get started on adding more superfoods to their diets, check out the 11 options below.
We're not talking iceberg lettuce here. Look to darker, leafier greens like arugula, kale and spinach to up the vitamin K totals in your diet. These greens can boost bone, digestive and blood health, among many other benefits.
One of the easiest ways to eat leafy greens is in a salad, but you can also:
Brussels sprouts pack a punch when it comes to good fibers and other minerals. Veggies in the cruciferous family, including Brussels sprouts, have been shown to protect DNA from damage that can lead to cancer. Don't overdo the sprouts, though, as that can lead to digestive distress for some people.
Blueberries are a sweet way to bring more vitamin C and vitamin K to your diet as well as important minerals like manganese. The berries also provide soluble fiber that can be good for digestion and cholesterol, and there's some evidence that blueberries might help with inflammation.
Toss some of these sweet berry morsels on your yogurt or cereal in the morning, add them to various salads, blend them into smoothies or just pop them like candy as you enjoy a movie.
Did you give our suggestion of Brussels sprouts above the side eye? That's okay — you can get the same benefits from broccoli. Plus, you can enjoy this veggie raw, steamed or roasted.
Salmon offers a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in regulating blood pressure and supporting heart health. It may also help with brain functioning and health. Consider opting for salmon once a week to get this important nutrient into your diet.
Green tea delivers numerous nutrients in every glass or cup, and you can drink it hot or cold. It may help with digestion and curb appetite when you're feeling peckish for no reason. Dress this beverage up with lemon, honey or other citrus if you're looking for something a bit different and refreshing.
Walnuts also bring omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, which have been shown to help decrease your chances of heart disease and some cancers. Enjoy a few walnuts a day, add them to your mixed nut snack bowl or use them as a topping on yogurt or other dairy snacks.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant believed to help reduce certain types of cancers. You can eat them raw in salads or on sandwiches, but the benefits also come when you eat cooked tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other minerals that can promote heart health. Obviously, you don't want to chow down on this ingredient as the main dish of a meal, but enjoying a bite-size piece of high-quality dark chocolate once a day can be a decadent way to add a superfood to your diet.
Note that milk chocolate doesn't count, though. Look for dark chocolate that's 70% cacao or more.
Whole grains are often encouraged as a part of a healthy diet, and oatmeal can be a real winner. This is especially true if gluten sensitivities leave you wanting for grains in your diet.
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber and is packed with proteins and minerals, all of which makes it good for digestive and heart health. It's also one of the easiest foods on this list to enjoy. Seniors can easily prepare instant oatmeal in a microwave or overnight oats in a mini fridge, so it's a food you can keep on hand in a kitchenette.
Add healthy flavor to oatmeal with ingredients such as peanut butter, berries or honey.
An apple a day may not actually keep the doctor away, but there are definitely benefits to this common fruit. Apples offer a ton of soluble fiber, making them great for the digestive system, and they also bring vitamin C and antioxidants to the table. The skin of the apple has some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, so eating sliced apples with the skin still on can be the healthiest way to enjoy this snack.
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