5 heart and mind friendly foods that are perfect for seniors
‘You are what you eat’ says the well-known adage and considering that a 75-year-old heart doesn’t work quite like a 20-year-old one, diet is even more important for senior citizens. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities like Kshetra take pains to ensure that elderly residents under their care receive wholesome nutrition, you can do the same even if you’re spending your golden years at home or taking care of loved ones who are past the age of 60.
Adding power foods to daily meals that can help take care of the heart and mind is a great way to live healthy. Here are 5 senior-friendly foods to add to your plate.
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help build membranes around brain cells, improving their structure. Blood deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to reduced mental function and while aiding your brain, salmon is even known for reducing heart disease.
How to eat: Poached salmon fillets, mackerel bakes, tuna sandwiches, curries, pan-fried dishes and salads are some of the tasty options you can try.
Egg yolk is a good source of choline and is linked to better memory performance as choline is used to produce a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, that is important for brain functions like memory. Eggs also provide senior citizens with amino acids, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium and more.
How to eat: Hard boiled, poached, fried, scrambled are quick all-time favourites and curry or a bhurji is also easy to make.
It's buttery and fatty, but this is a monounsaturated fat that actually promotes healthy blood flow and thus gives you a healthier brain. Avocado is also rich in Vitamin K and folate, which contribute to lowering the chances of a stroke. Moreover, studies demonstrate that avocado can bring down cholesterol levels significantly.
How to eat: On toast, in salads, as a smoothie, or just peeled and consumed with some pepper, lime or honey.
Spinach provides the body with folic acid and enzymes and studies show that the vegetable helps combat dementia, especially in women. It also strengthens synapses, boosts the ‘happiness’ neurotransmitter, serotonin, and being rich in iron, it helps red blood cells transport oxygen to other parts of the body.
How to eat: Soups, salads, stir-fried with garlic, as an accompaniment to chicken or fish, with pasta, or simply sautéed.
Millets are a powerhouse of protein and fibre. They provide you with magnesium and potassium, which lower blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of heart attacks or strokes. Millets also contain phosphorus, Vitamin E, iron copper, and B complex. The grain helps blood cell production, regulate sugar levels, improve bone health, build immunity and detoxification, which make it a must-have!
How to eat: Stir fries, casseroles, porridge, pancakes and even smoothies are some of the vegetarian meals you have with millets.
To supplement home cooking with better nutrition, you can also sign up for a program like Kshetra’s home delivery of millet meals. To offer healthy food for senior citizens, Kshetra’s health kitchen, Poshak, offers home-delivery or takeaway of millet-based, gluten-free vegetarian meals. Seniors can sign up for the monthly thali meal facility to enjoy healthy food at home without any hassles of cooking themselves.
Healthy meals and monitoring of intake by dieticians and trained non-medical staff are just a few of the advantages that senior citizens at Kshetra’s ISO-certified assisted living facility in Hyderabad benefit from. So, if the need for long-term old age citizen care arises, enjoy the best of caregiving and the comfort of home with Kshetra.