Making good nutritional choices is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. The foods that you eat, according to the article, “Dietary Guidelines for Chronic Disease Prevention,” by J. Shikany, may delay or prevent chronic diseases in later life and may potentially provide years of health, productivity and high functioning. What a bonus! Make good nutritional choices now and reap the benefits for a long time. To do this, you need to know what nutrients are essential and how to incorporate them into your diet. At Retirement & Assisted Living Communities of Retirement Unlimited, Inc., we provide a healthy variety of foods in our dining menu or you can use this information to prepare your own meals in the apartment kitchens in some of our retirement & assisted living communities.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients may help reduce your risk for stroke, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. The essentials to look for include: calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E. When combined, these nutrients can give you the benefits for healthy aging. Let’s take a look at each of these nutrients and what foods to find them. We’ll also give you a simple recipe for enjoying some of the nutrients.
• Calcium is essential for bones and teeth as well as the function of muscles, nerves, and glands. Dairy products, of course, are good sources of this nutrient, but so are foods such as collard greens, soy beans, and sardines
• Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps your cholesterol and insoluble fiber is essential for a healthy digestive tract. Good sources of fiber include beans, artichokes, pears, and wheat germ.
• Iron provides red blood cells with what they need and helps your cells function in top form. Look for iron not only in red meat, but in lentils, lima beans.
• Potassium helps your kidneys function in a healthy manner and regulates fluid retention. You can find potassium in bananas, potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as spinach.
• Vitamins A, C, and E help your skin, keep fatty acids from oxidizing, keep teeth and gums healthy, aid in iron absorption and can protect against infections. You can find vitamin A in orange vegetables and fruits like sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, cantaloupe, and apricots. Vitamin E is abundant in dark leafy greens, red bell pepper, and papaya. And, of course, Vitamin C is found in all citrus fruits as well as red peppers and mangoes.
Here is a simple snack that you can prepare that is rich in many of the nutrients that we’ve described. This recipe was taken from the June 2009 issue of Cooking Light. Substitute any flavor of reduced fat yogurt in this recipe. For more healthy recipes for healthy aging, you can check out Cooking Light at www.cookinglight.com.
Blueberry-Orange Parfaits (makes 4 servings)
This snack comes together in a few minutes, if you purchase orange sections from the refrigerated part of the produce section. To make ahead, prepare parfaits and refrigerate, covered, for up to four hours; sprinkle with wheat germ just before serving. The oranges provide fiber, vitamin C, and potassium; yogurt provides protein, calcium, and potassium; blueberries provide fiber and vitamin C; and the wheat germ gives you protein, fiber, vitamin, and zinc.
1 ½ Tablespoons turbinado sugar
½ teaspoon grated orange rind
2 – 7 ounce containers reduced-fat plain Greek style yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups orange sections (about 2 large)
¼ cup wheat germ
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until blended. Spoon ¼ cup blueberries into each of 4 tall glasses. Spoon about 2 ½ tablespoons of yogurt mixture over the blueberries in each glass. Add ¼ cup orange to each serving. Repeat layers with remaining blueberries, yogurt mixture, and oranges. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon wheat germ over each serving; serve immediately
If you prefer someone else to do your cooking for you, then explore our website and see what our communities have to offer. Contact the community closest to you by phone or e-mail or stop by for a visit. Take a tour, stay for a meal, and see what healthy choices Retirement Unlimited Inc. has to offer.