Three of the leading chronic health issues facing older Americans are obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Research finds that diet often plays a part in all three of these. If your mom is facing any or all of those health issues, she needs to adjust the foods she eats.
Four Foods She Should Eat
These four foods are essential to good health. She needs to add them to her daily diet if she hasn’t already.
#1 – Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and chard are packed with antioxidants. This helps the immune system work effectively. They also have low-calorie counts, so you can eat a lot of them and not worry too much about them adding to your weight.
#2 – Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are all examples of cruciferous vegetables. They’re high in a phytochemical that helps lower the risk of certain cancers. Some researchers also believe that carotenoids found in cruciferous vegetables can provide a little protection against harmful UV rays.
#3 – Fatty Fish
Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids is ideal for boosting good cholesterol levels and protecting the heart. There is also some belief that fish helps with brain health. Choose fatty fish like mackerel and sardines.
#4 – Dried Beans
Dried beans are packed with fiber and protein. They’re also very versatile. Use them as the main dish or add them to a salad.
Four She Should Avoid
What foods should she avoid? These are the worst offenders.
#1 – Ice Cream
Ice cream is full of fat and sugar. Even if you take out the sugar and replace it with an artificial sweetener, ice cream is just not a healthy option.
#2 – Potato Chips
Potato chips have very little nutritional benefit. They’re cooked in oil. Baked is slightly better, but you still have a lot of salt in one serving. If she is insistent on having potatoes, baked fries are best.
#3 – White Bread
White bread is the worst bread to choose from. If she has to have it, look for brands that use white wheat flour to make sure there is some grain in the flour. The other concern with a store-bought loaf of white bread is the added sugar.
#4 – Cookies and Cakes
Sugary treats may fix a craving, but they’re high in calories and offer the body nothing beneficial. If she really needs to have something sweet, slice up fresh fruit.
Does your mom fill a void with food? If she’s lonely or feeling stressed, she might grab unhealthy foods for comfort. Elderly care services are a solution for the loneliness that often happens when you live alone. Have an elderly care aide stop by as often as you want to keep your mom company, take her out shopping or to appointments, or to help with daily chores.