Monday, June 30, 2014

The Healthiest Summer Foods for Seniors

Senior health starts with a great diet, and summer is the perfect time to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables. Durham farmers’ markets are filled with the season’s best foods that can give your elderly loved one the nutrients they need to feel great. Before planning your next meal, check out our summer’s best picks to help you and your family make the most of the season.
Watermelon. This fruit is great for hydration, especially on hot summer days. Your older family member or friend should pay close attention to staying hydrated this season, and watermelon is an easy and tasty way to do just that. Plus, it is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. Even more, it is a great source of lycopene, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant. Watermelon also offers up L-citrulline, an amino acid that can help regulate blood pressure and arterial function.
Shrimp. As a barbecue favorite, shrimp contains lots of protein, it is low in fat, and it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to protect the heart.  
Mangoes. Not only are they rich in vitamins, particularly vitamins C and A, but mangoes are also a fantastic source of fiber. Fiber is especially important in constipation relief, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 
Cucumbers. Add cucumbers to salads and use them in place of chips when eating summery dips. They are low in calories, but high in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that can help keep your loved one’s mind sharp as they age. Even more, cucumbers offer an array of anti-inflammatory benefits.
Tomatoes. From pizza sauce to salsa, tomatoes are a versatile fruit that offers a variety of powerful health benefits. They contain lycopene, which has been shown to guard the heart, lower cholesterol levels, and even reduce your loved one’s chances of sunburn during the summer’s brightest days.
Berries. Like many other fruits, berries are a potent source of antioxidants. Blueberries and strawberries, for example, have been shown to stave off mental decline by up to 2.5 years. Even more, berries are known to reduce plaque in the arteries, which may otherwise lead to heart attacks or strokes. 
Bell peppers. Red, yellow, and green bell peppers offer up a lot of vitamin C in every serving. They also have compounds that contain sulfur, which has been known to guard against cancer. 
Corn. Summer is prime corn eating season, which is great news. It can be classified as a fruit, grain, or vegetable, and delivers two powerful antioxidants: zeaxanthin and lutein. Both compounds can lower your loved one’s risk of macular degeneration, meaning they can help keep vision at its best. 
Iced tea. Not only is iced tea refreshing on a hot, humid day, but it could also lower your loved one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. It can even promote healthier gums and teeth, as well as stronger bones. Tea is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids, which provide these protective properties. No matter the type of tea your loved one chooses, a freshly brewed cup is most potent.
You can help support your elderly family and friends by providing senior care right at the kitchen table. This summer, check out your local produce section or farmers’ market to find these incredible foods and create delicious meals that are not only tasty, but can also help keep your loved one as healthy as they can be.


  1. Watermelon happens to be my grandmother's favorite fruit! I'm happy to see that it can help her stay hydrated as well. I'm ending my stay with her at the end of the summer, but she'll be getting a new live-in nurse. I'll be sure to tell her new nurse about all of these really helpful food as soon as we hire them. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi..
    Extremely very useful tips to make caring for an aged loved one. Thanks for sharing nice ideas. Know more advices about Elders diet.