Up to 60% of older adults aren’t getting the proper amount of nutrients in their daily diet. Inadequate nutrition can stem from a variety of things, but there are simple solutions. By eating more of a plant-based diet and focusing on fall superfoods, you and your loved ones can improve your health effortlessly. As adults age, they must eat beneficial foods, especially if they are in assisted living or memory care programs. Take a look at 7 of the most beneficial autumn superfoods our senior living facility recommends below!
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes often don’t become popular until Thanksgiving Day, but you can benefit from the ingredients much sooner. Seniors can improve their health with sweet potatoes. Not only are they a comforting ingredient, but they are also filling and easy to digest. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with beta-carotene. These both help reduce free radicals in the body. Sweet potatoes contain fiber and potassium, both of which play a role in body regulation. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels often improve after adding this ingredient to the diet. Our chef-prepared meals often use sweet potatoes since they are a healthy starch for seniors.
2. Apples & Their Role in Assisted Living
Did you recently go to the apple orchard with your family and buy too many apples? Before they go to waste, it’s important to understand their diverse benefits and uses. Apples are one of the few fruits that are available year-round, but some of the tastiest variations are only out in the fall. The best part about apples is that they are versatile and can be used for baking, cooking, or eating raw. Apples are a popular ingredient in assisted living since they can have a smoother texture. This sweet (and sometimes tart) fall superfood is easy to incorporate into recipes and can help lower cholesterol levels. Some people eat apples to prevent heart disease, while others use them to increase fiber intake. High amounts of fiber help lower the risk of heart disease by regulating blood sugar levels as well.
Often mistaken for a veggie, tomatoes are a wonderful fruit to add to your diet in the fall. Tomatoes are beneficial to people living in assisted living facilities for several reasons. The fruit has lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights off cancer cells. Whether you like to enjoy them as pasta sauce, in salads, or on sandwiches, they’ll help the body defend itself. Inspired Living prioritizes the mind, body, and spirit with a variety of activities. You can learn more about our engaging activities to ensure our facility can become a home. After joining other residents in these activities, you can enjoy our chef-prepared meals!
4. Cranberries Can Help With Memory Care
Many people don’t realize it, but cranberries improve memory performance. This sweet fruit helps the body deliver blood to the brain more efficiently. This improves neural functioning and helps people, even old age, remember short and long-term events. Other areas of the body benefit from cranberries, which are also related to memory. Cranberries help visual episodic memory, which makes it easier to recall events. They also improve digestive health, specifically indigestion and constipation. High traces of fiber and antioxidants defend against illness and can even prevent ulcers!
Aside from apples, pears are another popular fruit that can be bought most of the year. Pears have a peak season around the fall since the trees can’t be harvested any earlier than late summer. Pears contain vitamins C and K, along with potassium and copper. The mix of these nutrients helps older adults rid their bodies of radicals without sacrificing good food. Superfood lists often contain pears because they’re versatile and beneficial. Older adults can eat one or two pears a day to meet their fruit recommendations. They can be eaten as a puree, added to salads, or baked with other fruits and veggies. At Inspired Living, we help residents create a meal plan that works for their needs and diets. You can learn more about our all-day dining and view a sample menu if you’re curious about our food options! Residents must enjoy their meals, whether they eat them in their room or the dining hall with friends.
Pumpkins are easy to find in the fall and our chefs do their best to incorporate seasonal ingredients into the recipes. Pumpkins are often used since they contain fiber, which helps assist the digestive tract and remove discomfort. They also contain beta-carotene vitamin A, which plays a critical role in macular degeneration. Older adults can help reduce their risk of eye-related diseases and improve vision with pumpkins. Vitamin C and potassium are also concentrated in pumpkin. You can take a break from bananas or mix them with pumpkin, as the flavors pair nicely. The best part about increased potassium is that it can regulate blood pressure, impacting the muscles and nerves as well. Our residents can enjoy pumpkin in pies, smoothies, and soups. You can also add it to family recipes like pasta dishes. If you or your loved one can’t have seeds or nuts, baked pumpkin seeds aren’t recommended.
7. Acorn Squash
If you’re looking for a nutrient-dense vegetable in the fall, acorn squash is a great choice. Acorn squash often gets overlooked because people buy pumpkins and butternut squash. Unfortunately, these people are missing out on vitamins A and C, along with fiber, and other nutrients. Acorn squash is delicious on its own with some salt and olive oil, but it can also be used in place of other types of squash or starch.
Taste Your Way to Healthy Senior Living
At Inspired Living, we understand that what our residents eat can impact their mood and health. Senior living and memory care facilities often get a bad reputation when it comes to food, but we are ready to prove that stigma wrong. By adding seasonal items to resident diets, everyone benefits from the nutrients and vitamins inside. Contacting us and scheduling a tour can help you or a loved one make an important decision about assisted living. Take a moment to complete our contact survey so you can learn more about Inspired Living options!