Senior Nutrition in the Summertime

Summertime is here, and with it comes an assortment of healthy fruits and vegetables and lean meats. However, as we age, some of us like to eat foods that are less healthy because of the convenience of things like fast food and processed foods. Some of us may have limited income, so being dedicated to a healthy diet may be difficult. It’s important to remember that poor health choices can lead to chronic illnesses in seniors (diabetes, heart disease, etc.).

Although eating healthy may seem difficult and boring as you grow old, it can actually be a lot of fun, great for your body, very affordable, and delicious! Here are some ideas that can make the rest of your summer a nutritionally enjoyable experience.

  1. Make a list: Identify the fruits and vegetables that you love the most. Jot down some of them that you haven’t tried and may be interested in. This would be an awesome replacement for some of the unhealthy things (like foods high in sodium) you may be eating. In the summertime, fruits and veggies are at their peak of freshness, so they can give you tons of vitamins and minerals that you need.
  2. Go Shopping: You may need some inspiration. Check out your local farmers’ market or grocery store. It will be great for exercise, good for sociability, and you can browse for great deals on some healthy and tasty foods.
  3. Herbs & spices you should cook with: Dill, thyme, and rosemary are highly nutritious. Rosemary can help prevent allergies and nasal congestion. Ginger can help treat nausea. Basil helps fight infections and boosts immunity. Sage can improve your brain function. I think you get the picture, fresh herbs and spices are highly beneficial to your health.
  4. Break out the grill: There are a lot of benefits to grilling other than it makes food taste amazing and that it can be a lot of fun. When you grill, you eat less fat. All the fat drips off unlike when you cook in a frying pan. When you grill veggies, they retain minerals, unlike boiling or frying. When you grill meat over a fire, it preserves riboflavin and thiamine, which are nutrients the play a vital role in a healthy diet. Grilling gets you outside, and moving around, which is great for your health.
  5. Freeze fruits, veggies, and meats: If you purchased a lot of groceries, and you don’t want them to spoil, freeze them! Frozen fruits can be great for smoothies. You can freeze meats/veggies and thaw them out for a snack, lunch or dinner. No need to be wasteful if you found a good deal at the store!

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