It seems that in our younger years we can eat anything without repercussion. We are less likely to gain weight, experience heartburn, undergo digestive issues, or suffer a heart attack during those times. However, as we age into our later years of life, we have to pay much more attention to that food pyramid we learned about many years before.
One of the most significant concerns as we age is heart health. We want to be sure that we are getting adequate nutrition. However, with so much information available, finding the best dietary items to include in your meals can be a challenge. To help you along in that journey, we have compiled a list of ten heart healthy foods for seniors.
When you talk to any doctor or nutritionist, they will most commonly preach the benefits of spinach. It has many nutrients that aid the heart and elements that help you build healthy red blood cells.
- Whole Grains
Compared to flour-based bread and carbs, whole grains have significantly more nutrients that are easier to digest. Whole grains come with b-complex vitamins, fiber, and magnesium, which lend themselves to many nutritional benefits.
- Green Tea
While it can be an acquired taste for some, the benefits of green tea are exponential. One of the best things about this particular type of tea is that it stimulates blood vessel function and opens up arteries. Green tea also helps to reduce plaque buildup around the heart.
- Dark Chocolate
I’m sure you are seeing this and thinking – yes! I can absolutely incorporate dark chocolate into my diet! However, the higher the cocoa content, the more heart benefits you will receive. And as you will quickly learn, these varieties of dark chocolate don’t have the sugary sweet taste that you’re used to.
When making dinner and being mindful of your heart health, including a portion of fish is a great option. Both salmon and tuna are full of nutrients that are highly beneficial for standard heartbeat patterns and reducing triglycerides.
As a tremendous source of protein, both almonds and walnuts are also highly valuable to heart health. What’s more, both nuts offer advantages for calcium and fiber needs.
You may not think that something as simple as a bean can have the impact that it does on the human body, but it indeed does. Not only do both kidney and black beans aid heart health, but they also bring calcium, b-complex vitamins, fiber, and magnesium to the table.
The inclusion of antioxidants is essential for a heart healthy diet for seniors. With blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, you will see positive effects over time.
As an item with a significant chunk of space on the food pyramid, vegetables are essential for everyone. However, if you are concerned about heart health, it is pertinent to up the amount that you consume, especially when it comes to broccoli and carrots.
- Alternative Milk
As our bodies age, we are often less capable of tolerating lactose. Therefore, having standard cow’s milk doesn’t benefit our bodies like it does others. Including types such as almond or soy can give you extra needed nutrients that you miss out on by not including milk in your diet.
Finding appropriate heart healthy foods for seniors can be tricky, especially for those with dietary restrictions. If you are struggling to find solutions that work, please feel free to reach out to us at Vibrant Life Senior Living for services or assisted living assistance.