Superfoods are foods that pack a nutritional punch, which means they are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and soluble fiber to promote a healthy well-being. These nutrients are beneficial for our heart, eyesight, brain function and bone health, which becomes more fragile as we age. It is crucial that we pay attention to what we nourish our bodies with so that we can live a high quality of life both physically and mentally. Consider adding these foods into your daily diet- because as they say, you are what you eat!
Wild-caught cold-water fish
Consuming wild-caught cold-water fish is an excellent addition to a senior’s diet. Fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are high in omega-3 essential fatty acid (DHA), and there has been strong evidence to prove that low DHA levels have been linked to memory loss and symptoms of dementia. We prefer wild-caught fish over farm raised as it contains less pollutants.
Eggs can be prepared in a wide variety of ways and pack a punch when it comes to nutrients! Eggs provide high-quality protein, while also containing essential vitamins and minerals. 60% of the protein comes from the egg white, but the yolk contains impressive amounts of selenium, vitamin D, folate and Vitamin A. These nutrients assist the body in the absorption of calcium- which is essential to seniors as they promote strong bones, healthy muscle function and a strong immune system.
Dark Leafy Greens
You guessed it! Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and swiss chard have been known as a superfood for years as these are high in vitamins A, E, C and K. In addition, they also contain carotenoids-antioxidants that protect cells in block early stages of cancer. Recent studies have shown that eating 2-3 servings of dark leafy greens per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer- and even heart disease. They can easily be blended into a smoothie, added to your favorite pasta dish or any senior meal.
Green tea has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to aid in healing wounds, aid digestion, improving heart-health and even regulating body temperature. Green tea is high in antioxidants and minerals, which prevent against disease and cognitive impairment. In addition- it is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial, which promotes a strong immune system! Green tea can be enjoyed hot with a drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness, or iced with a slice of lemon and fresh mint leaves…refreshing!
Many of us spent our childhoods dreading the evening that we were served liver and onions for dinner…but there was a good reason for it- liver has been shown to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Per 3.5 oz serving, liver has 300+% of your daily value of B Vitamins, Copper and Vitamin A. No wonder it’s called nature’s multi-vitamin! A great trick to incorporate liver into your diet is by mixing it into beef meatballs…you’ll barely taste it!
Considerable evidence suggests that eating one ounce per day of walnuts can reduce the risk of heart disease- you can thank their high content of healthy fats! Because walnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which plays a large roll in cognitive function in the brain, it can also help reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Walnuts can easily be added incorporated into the diet by sprinkling on a yogurt parfait, baked into muffins or even made into pesto with fresh basil.
Carrots contain an impressive amount of nutrients- particularly four essential antioxidants: Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. These antioxidants have been shown to lower your risk of poor eyesight as you age. As an added bonus- carrots are a great source of fiber which uniquely binds with endotoxins (AKA, the “bad bugs” in your digestive tract) to promote a healthy digestive system and gut motility.
Pomegranates are notorious for their vibrant red seeds, which is due to their high content of polyphenols- a blend of powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants prevent against cell damage and inflammation, which can be responsible for conditions such as arthritis, diabetes or autoimmune disorders. While many enjoy simply eating the seeds directly from the fruit- for a less tedious option, you can purchase high-quality, pure pomegranate juice from your local grocery store.
Kiwi is no ordinary fruit, both in terms of its appearance and it’s nutritional content. Kiwi fruit is one of the highest in vitamin C (almost twice the amount of citrus fruit!), which is a powerful agent against disease and inflammation. Kiwi, uniquely, contains abundant antioxidants and even serotonin, which is a hormone that stabilizes our mood and feelings of well-being.
You read that right…dark chocolate! This sweet treat has been shown to have positive effects on heart health as well as the immune system. The high content of antioxidants can help lower your blood pressure, which reduces the risk for stroke and heart attack. When consuming dark chocolate, try to choose a brand that is at least 70% cacao for maximum benefit.