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15 Healthy Foods Seniors Should Include in Their Diet

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A properly balanced diet is an essential part of healthy senior living. It’s the foundation of living a healthy lifestyle and taking proper care of yourself. Whether you’re following a diet like keto or simply looking to boost your nutritional intake, it’s crucial to make sure you’re eating healthy foods that are full of essential vitamins and minerals.

15 healthy foods seniors should include in their diet are:

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Berries
  3. Fatty fish
  4. Whole grains
  5. Citrus fruits
  6. Eggs
  7. Lean meats and proteins
  8. Nuts and seeds
  9. Broccoli and cauliflower
  10. Avocado
  11. Beans and legumes
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Pumpkin
  15. Edamame

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are the staple of a healthy diet. They’re full of iron and fiber, making them wonderful for fortifying bones and boosting brain health. And even better? They’re versatile and can be included in everything from a stir fry to a smoothie.

2. Berries

Berries, bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C, are wonderful for heart health. They’re also full of properties that make them natural guardians against inflammation.

Whether they’re fresh or frozen, they can make for a delightful snack, and can be added to meals like yogurt, cereal, and desserts for a little boost.

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most crucial parts of a healthy diet. They’re full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for:

  • Enhancing brain function
  • Boosting mental health
  • Supporting heart health
  • Removing inflammation
  • Promoting healthy eyes

Try to work them into your meals a few times a week to start reaping the benefits.

4. Whole Grains

When it comes to grains, go with the whole over the refined. Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are full of B vitamins, alongside iron and fiber.  They’re excellent for digestive health and maintaining blood sugar levels. Try to avoid overly-processed or refined grains—whole grains can do much more.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are often touted as a wonderful way to prevent colds. This is due to their high vitamin C content, which helps to bolster your immune system. They’re also full of other antioxidants that can help ward off inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. Whether you prefer grapefruits, oranges, or tangerines, you’ll enjoy a hefty dose of vitamin C.

6. Eggs

Eggs are one of the most easily accessible superfoods you can find. They’re extremely affordable and versatile.

They’re full of essential nutrients, from proteins to vitamins B12 and D. These are all essential for brain health, memory retention, and more. Plus, you can prepare them in a variety of ways, making them an easy addition to almost any meal.

7. Lean Meats & Proteins

Protein is essential for older adults. With age, many people begin to lose muscle mass, making it important to do what you can to maintain your strength. That’s where proteins can help significantly. Lean meats and plant-based proteins like tofu offer a great deal of protein without putting your cholesterol levels at risk.

8. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds, though simple, are a core part of many diets. They offer a heart-healthy source of healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.

Whether you choose almonds, chia seeds, or peanuts, they can do wonders for enhancing your nutrient intake. Plus, they can be added to most salads, desserts, and breakfasts for a satisfying crunch.

9. Broccoli & Cauliflower

It’s often said that vegetables are one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. Broccoli and cauliflower are no exception to this rule—they’re packed with vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants. They make for a delicious side dish or can be roasted for some added flavor.

10. Avocado

Avocados aren’t just a trendy food—they’re also incredibly healthy. They pack a punch of monounsaturated fats that can positively affect your cholesterol levels, along with vitamins and minerals like potassium and folate.

11. Beans & Legumes

Beans & legumes, though often forgotten, are an excellent natural source of fiber and protein. They can help support digestive health and manage blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, they’re also full of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and potassium.

12. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are an arsenal of antioxidants, which help to fight off cell-damaging free radicals in the body. They’re also extremely high in B vitamins, making them important for any diet. Plus, they add a delicious umami flavor to savory meals.

13. Cabbage

Cabbage is a budget-friendly superfood. It contains a wealth of nutrients, ranging from vitamin C to vitamin K. It also has plenty of gastrointestinal benefits and cancer-protective properties, making it a vital component for seniors looking to boost their nutritional intake.

14. Pumpkin

Pumpkins, from flesh to seeds, provide an enriching assortment of nutrients. The flesh is rich in beta-carotene, which supports eye health, while the seeds are a pocketful of fiber, protein, and magnesium, promoting heart and bone health.

15. Edamame

Edamame, young soybeans, are a gem if you’re looking for a healthy snack. These little green pods are bursting with plant-based protein, essential amino acids, and fiber, making them an excellent choice for maintaining muscle strength and aiding in digestion.

Rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin K and folate, they support overall health, particularly in fortifying bones and enhancing blood health. Meanwhile, they offer a delightful taste with a satisfying pop, making them a fun and nutritious addition to any meal.

An older adult man holding mushrooms in both hands and a cane on his left hand

Living a Healthy Senior Lifestyle

A balanced diet is the foundation for living a healthy life, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. It’s also crucial to find a community that supports you in every step of your wellness journey—like ours here at The Villages at the River Club.

In our community, we believe in helping our residents reach their goals. We know the value of a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, and we’re here to help. Book a tour with us today!

Written by Lisa Klasen

“It gives me pleasure to help our residents live a life of independence, love, and joy here in our community.”

Lisa has lived in Clarksville for over 10 years and is originally from the Nashville area. She went to college at Central Michigan University, where she graduated with a liberal arts degree (psychology major).

Lisa has an eclectic work background and started her career in the human resources/training/development arena for several service-oriented companies such as Hyatt Hotels and The Forum Group (Senior Living Communities). Later in her career, she switched to real estate sales for local custom home builders for about 15 years in Indiana and Tennessee. Recently, Lisa has worked as a sales and marketing director for a local independent living community, a skilled nursing facility, and an assisted living/memory care facility.

She lives with her 4 “boys”: 2 dogs and 2 cats. She still holds her real estate license and also does professional photography during her time away from The Villages. She hopes to use her photography skills to market our beautiful building and wonderful family of residents and staff here. She looks forward to getting to know everyone!

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