A healthy diet is important for good health. And during the summer, when temperatures are high, seniors should make sure to maintain proper nutrition, and include foods in their diet that make digestion easier, provide healthy fiber, as well as hydrate.
Seniors should follow a personalized diet based on their overall health and physical condition. For example, diabetic patients should avoid taking in too much sugar, and every senior should be sure to eat a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables. But there are additional tips that can help seniors enjoy summer while maintaining proper nutrition.
The first ingredient to any summer meal plan is water. Seniors are more active and therefore, perspire in the summer, more than any other season. They are also prone to heatstroke. This in mind, seniors should drink plenty of water, an average of 6 to 8 glasses of water a day and avoid alcohol and caffeine. “Some seniors, however, do not like water,” says Sharon Jones, a dietitian with On Lok PACE, that helps create meal plans for participants to help them eat healthy. “To make it more flavorful, they can add fruit to the water, like lemon, strawberry, cherry, mango, peach, and apricot. This can make water more flavorful, and it can also be eaten.” Other fruits can also be used, like apples, watermelons, oranges, and bananas.
Another ingredient Sharon suggests, is seasonal vegetables. Bell peppers, cucumber, celery, carrots, and eggplant are multi-fiber vegetables, which can help the body detoxify and aid digestion. “Think of fiber as a kind of soap,” Sharon says. “Soap cleans the outer surface of the human body, and high-fiber foods clean the inside.”
Cold noodles, or noodle soup, are another popular food among seniors, and they can be enjoyed in both cold and warm weather. When cooking noodles, you can add eggs, tofu, meat, and vegetables, which are all part of a balanced diet – and if you make enough, it can be stored for enjoying the next day. “Just avoid machine-made noodles with artificial additives,” says Sharon. “They are unhealthy and lack fiber. Soba noodles are better because they are natural and high in fiber.”
According to Sharon, choosing between hot noodle soup or cold noodles can depend on the physical condition of the senior. Even in the summer, some seniors have more fat, and can maintain their body temperature at a higher level and prefer to eat cold noodles. While on the other hand, some seniors are thinner and their body temperature therefore, lower, so hot noodle soup may be better.
Seasonings can be a fun way to add flavor to any dish, but Sharon points out that seniors with high blood pressure, should watch salt in seasonings. “For example, instead of regular soy sauce, seniors may want to use unsalted soy sauce because the salt content is much lower,” she says. She also advised on using unsalted chicken broth to make the noodle soup. “Pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, are great seasonings that can enhance any meal without the salt, and if a senior prefers a taste that is on the sour side, they can use vinegar.”
No summer is complete without desserts that can help beat the heat. But keeping an eye on sugar is important. “Seniors that are not diabetic can have desserts such as ice cream, but in proper amounts and no more than twice a week,” says Sharon. “And for seniors with diabetes, there are ice creams that use sugar substitutes, but those should be enjoyed no more than once a week.”
Original Source: China Press. Some differences may occur due to translation.