By Pam Canty, Intake and Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan
Wow, it has been over one year since the COVID-19 stay home order. This has been extremely hard for just about everyone but especially seniors. Spring is finally here, and it is wonderful to see the sun and enjoy the temperature change.
After being cooped up inside many seniors can go walking, sit on the porch or deck, and just go outside take a deep breath and thank Mother Nature for the season change.
Vegetables and fruit become more readily available in April and May, so it is a good time for everyone to evaluate their diets, especially seniors. It seems when spring arrives, everyone wants to change their eating habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that seniors’ nutritional needs are especially important. Making diet changes can lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Seniors need more fiber, potassium, and healthier fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Improving bone health by adding more calcium, vitamin D (more sunshine) and vitamin B12 (which helps promote blood cell and nerve health) are important. The Healthy Eating Guide for Older Adults suggests a few nutrients to include in a daily diet:
- Calcium and vitamin D – foods such as fortified cereals, fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, milk, non-sugary yogurt, and plant-based beverages.
- Vitamin B-12 – lean meats and poultry, fortified cereals, fish, and seafood.
- Fiber – Whole-wheat bread, cereals, and pasta, more beans, peas, fruits, and vegetables.
- Potassium can come from fruits, vegetables, and beans.
Here is a resource for a healthy recipes from the American Heart Association. I hope this information can help you figure out which foods will provide healthy nutrients for your body.
Pam Canty is an Intake and Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since 2005. As an Intake and Screening Coordinator, Pam helps seniors in Michigan apply for food assistance and other benefits.