Top Seven Superfoods for Seniors

Written by James Flerming

Some seniors mistakenly believe that they don’t need to worry about their diet once they reach retirement age. In reality, though, the foods you consume on a regular basis contribute significantly to the quality of your life and the rate at which you age.

If you want to continue to look and feel your best (or if you want to look and feel better), start adding these seven superfoods to your diet.

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a great source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. It can also lower your cholesterol levels and slow down your cells’ uptake of glucose. This, in turn, makes it easier to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Blueberries are also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and many other beneficial antioxidants, including anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give blueberries their bright color, and they’re known to promote brain health and boost memory.

  1. Dark Chocolate

Who says eating healthy can’t also be delicious? Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, which can protect the arteries and prevent heart attacks. Regular dark chocolate consumption can also reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of stroke in women by up to 20 percent!

As if those benefits aren’t enough, dark chocolate has also been shown to protect the brain and act as a memory booster. To see the greatest benefits from dark chocolate, make sure it’s at least 70 percent cacao and low in sugar.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric, the bright yellow spice that gives Indian and Middle Eastern food its rich coloring, contains an anti-inflammatory compound known as curcumin. Curcumin is a common ingredient in supplements for arthritic adults, and for good reason. It has actually been shown to help reduce inflammation just as well as (if not better than) over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

Add turmeric to your favorite foods or steep it in hot water to make tea. Just be sure to add some black pepper, too. One of the ingredients in black pepper, piperine, increases curcumin’s bioavailability by up to 2,000 percent!

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in the phytochemical lycopene. Lycopene is especially beneficial for senior men, as it can protect the prostate and lower one’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

That’s not to say that women shouldn’t also enjoy asparagus, though. It’s also rich in vitamin A, which is beneficial for proper immune health and eye health. It also contains plenty of fiber to promote healthy gut bacteria, lower cholesterol, and boost heart health.

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a great source of calcium, so it’s a great vegetable for seniors to consume if they want to ward off osteoporosis and osteopenia. It’s also rich in fiber and other essential vitamins, including vitamins A, K, C, and B9 (folate).

With all these great nutrients, broccoli is a powerhouse that can protect the blood cells, eyes, and immune system. Some research also indicates that regular broccoli consumption can help fight off certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, liver, and colon cancer.

  1. Coffee

If you’ve been drinking a cup or two of coffee a day for longer than you can remember, don’t worry. No one’s going to tell you to put down your mug anytime soon.

Consumption of coffee — regular and decaf — has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, and a variety of infections. It may also help protect women from breast cancer.

The only caveat? Don’t drink it too hot — high temperatures have been linked to an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.

  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat. Forget what you’ve been told about fat clogging your arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease. In the case of monounsaturated fats (and many other types of fat), that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Monounsaturated fats actually lower cholesterol and heart disease risk. They also help regulate insulin levels and control blood sugar to prevent diabetes.In addition to monounsaturated fats, olive oil is also full of vitamin K, vitamin E, and a compound known as oleocanthal. Oleocanthal is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can relieve pain just as well as ibuprofen.

Nine Ways Seniors Can Stay Healthy on a Budget

Written by Joe Fleming

For senior citizens living on a fixed income it’s easy to feel you don’t have the funds necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Who has time to think healthy when you may be struggling just to make ends meet? Sadly this time in life is when you can really benefit from focusing on a healthy diet and lifestyle. The good news is it’s totally possible to prioritize health without putting a massive dent in your bank account.

Read on for ten simple tips seniors can apply today to stay healthy on a budget.

  1. Look for Senior Discounts

If you hate paying full price for things, remember that there are numerous perks for seniors to take advantage of.

Many grocery stores offer a senior discount or loyalty program, as do lots of gyms and rec centers. Some businesses will also let you take advantage of a veterans discount, too, which can result in even more savings!

  1. Clip Coupons

Speaking of coupons, be sure to scour your weekly paper for the latest grocery store ads. Pay attention to which items are on sale and plan your shopping trips around them.

In addition to looking for printed coupons, you should also look online for other offers. Many stores post additional deals on their websites, and there are lots of third-party companies that also share coupons online.

  1. Shop Store Brands

Remember that store brands are almost always cheaper than name brand items, even though they contain the same ingredients and taste identical. Shop store brands whenever possible, unless you have a coupon that will make a name brand item cheaper

  1. Create (and Stick to) a Meal Plan

One of the best things you can do to save money on healthy food is to create a meal plan for the week and stick to it. Decide which meals you’re going to cook and plan ahead for any trips you might be taking to restaurants.

Once you have a meal plan in mind, you can prepare your food ahead of time. That way, all you have to do when you’re hungry is heat it up.

If the idea of preparing food for the whole week seems daunting, consider preparing enough for just 2-3 days instead — or, ask a family member or friend to help you.

You don’t have to get fancy with your meal plan, either — often, the healthiest and tastiest meals are also the simplest ones.

  1. Keep Healthy Convenience Foods on Hand

Make it easy for yourself to choose healthy foods by making sure they’re the only ones available.

Instead of stocking your pantry with chips and cookies, buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are washed and ready-to-eat. Other easy and healthy snacks to keep on hand include:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced deli turkey or ham
  • Beef jerky sticks
  • Dried fruit (just make sure there’s no sugar added)
  1. Eat Whole Foods as Much as Possible

It’s easy to let marketing get the better of you at the grocery store.

There are tons of items with eye-catching labels that claim to be healthy — think low-fat cookies, low-calorie ice cream, pre-packaged protein bars, etc.

These items might seem healthy, but they’re usually filled with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. And, they’re much more expensive than whole, natural foods like fruit, vegetables, and meat.

  1. Exercise at Home

If you can’t find a senior discount for a gym near you, don’t take that a sign from the universe that you shouldn’t be exercising. There are plenty of ways to workout for free from the comfort of your own home.

Start by simply going for a walk every day. Even spending just 15-20 minutes outside each day is a great way to improve your health, especially if you’re not used to working out at all.

  1. Take Advantage of Community Events

Check the schedule for your local senior center to see if they offer free social events. From fitness classes to cooking demonstrations, these events are a great way to socialize and learn healthy habits without spending money.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

When it comes to trying to stay healthy on a budget, there’s nothing more affordable than making sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Sleep is essential for keeping your immune system functioning properly, maintaining energy, and staying mentally alert. Shoot for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.