Eating Smart with Heart-Healthy Foods for Seniors
Are you making smart choices at mealtimes? With so many heart-healthy foods for seniors to choose from, it’s easy to find something to tempt your tastebuds.
Diet trends come and go. Two that have remained popular for people interested in heart health are the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, which is frequently referred to as the DASH diet. Both diets focus on including foods that are good for the heart while limiting those that might increase your risk of heart disease. You may find one of these diets suits your needs. Alternately, you may prefer to create your own menus with heart-healthy foods. There are plenty to choose from:
- Nuts: Nuts can be used as a stand-alone snack or mixed in a dish. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats and fiber. Cashews are great when you want to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure. Filled with unsaturated fats, almonds are also awesome for lowering cholesterol. With any nut, opt for unsalted or lightly salted. In addition, watch your portion size because nuts contain a surprising amount of calories!
- Egg whites: A tasty source of protein, egg whites can be a heart-healthy meal option when properly prepared.
- Fish: Tuna, salmon, and other fish are strong sources of omega-3 fats and protein.
- Poultry: Skinless chicken and turkey are also good sources of lean protein.
- Berries: Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and other berries offer more than sweetness. They also provide fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
- Whole grains: Whole grains can provide protein, fiber, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins, so they’re strong allies in the fight for a healthy heart.
- Leafy greens: Kale, broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens offer a host of nutrients that help to keep your heart and other vital systems functioning well.
- Dark chocolate: When it comes to heart health, there’s no need to skip dessert. With resveratrol, cocoa phenols, and less fat than milk chocolate, dark chocolate can help with blood pressure.
Enjoying Extra Protection
What else can you do to protect your heart? You have several options:
- Destress: Stress is hard on the heart. Be proactive about managing your stress so that it doesn’t become harmful.
- Exercise: Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
- Manage health conditions: Tools are available to help you manage high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Taking advantage of them can reduce the damage these health conditions can cause.
- Don’t smoke: Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of several serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
With so many delicious heart-healthy foods to choose from, following a diet that’s good for your cardiovascular system is no hardship. It’s especially easy when you call a senior living community home. At Hearthside Senior Living, our residents can relax and enjoy healthy home-cooked meals that are served in a restaurant-style atmosphere without worrying about whether their nutritional needs are being met. Speaking of which . . .
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!