There are many benefits to maintaining a heart-healthy diet as you age. Some of the benefits include maintaining a healthy weight and staying energized. At Northfield, we provide our residents with dining services designed to meet their needs and wants of our residents. If you are interested in learning more about how the experts at Northfield can help you or a loved one with their diet or nutrition, reach out today at 844.334.1490.
Heart-Healthy Foods for Seniors
Leafy Green Vegetables
One of the reasons that leafy green vegetables are heart-healthy is because they contain the B Vitamin folate, which is good for heart disease prevention. Leafy greens also have other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to a healthy diet. Leafy green vegetables are easy to find at the grocery store.
Common heart-healthy leafy greens include kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce (except iceberg or romaine), mustard greens, and bok choy. While eating a bowl of greens may not sound appetizing, these vegetables are delicious when paired with eggs, beans, seeds/nuts, and/or salmon. A leafy green salad with salmon on top is a meal with two heart-healthy components.
Whole grains are good for heart-healthy diets for several reasons. They reduce cholesterol. Also, they reduce blood pressure and weight. Lastly, whole grains lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
When available, intact whole grains instead of refined grains are best. Intact whole grains are whole oats, brown rice, barley, bulgur/cracked wheat, quinoa, and buckwheat. A quick and easy way to incorporate whole grains into your diet is with a bowl of oatmeal at breakfast time.
One of the reasons berries are heart-healthy is because they lower cholesterol. Another way berries mitigate the risk of heart disease is to prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized or damaged.
Examples of heart-healthy berries include raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Berries also have the added benefits of having a high fiber content and being antioxidants. One way to enjoy a heart-healthy breakfast is to put berries in oatmeal.
Avocados are heart-healthy because they are a good source of healthy fat. The type of healthy fat in avocados is oleic acid. Oleic acid is a monosaturated fatty acid that lowers cardiovascular inflammation. Additionally, avocados have beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is similar to cholesterol but found in plants.
Being heart-healthy is just one of the many benefits of having avocados in your diet. Other benefits include lowering your risk of cancer because of the folate found in avocados. The folate in avocados also blocks homocysteine. Homocysteine blocks nutrients to the brain leaving it more susceptible to depression. Oils from avocados can reduce osteoarthritis symptoms, and vitamin K slows down bone loss.
Fatty fish are heart-healthy because they contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are an unsaturated fatty acid that reduces inflammation. This is important to heart health because inflammation can cause damage to blood vessels which can lead to heart disease and strokes.
Heart-healthy, fatty fish include salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, cod, herring, lake trout, and canned, light tuna. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends adults eat a minimum of 8 ounces/two servings of fatty fish a week.
Dining Services at Northfield Encourages Healthy Eating Habits
At Northfield, we understand the importance of a heart-healthy diet. Our independent senior living community provides three meals a day. There is also the option to get smaller meals throughout the day. As an independent living community, we are flexible to everyone’s schedule.
Meals can be eaten community-style or taken back home to enjoy. Eating meals community-style means that our residents get to socialize. We pride ourselves on restaurant-style dishes. Also, we encourage our residents to try new things.
Our dining staff understands the importance of a healthy diet. So, we offer healthy balanced meals. To hear more about dining services and other services Northfield provides our residents call 844.334.1490 to speak to a member of our independent living community staff.