Top Summer Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
Have you ever heard, “food is medicine?” In a way, it can be. Healthy foods can help you prevent disease and keep your body working as it should. Making small tweaks to your diet can help you enjoy the seasonal foods of summer while staying fit and as active as you can.
At Generations Senior Living, we love connecting over a meal. Here are our favorite healthy eating tips for seniors this summer.
Foods for healthy aging
One of the best healthy tips for eating is to make sure your meals are balanced. Choose something from each of the following categories for a meal packed with nutrition.
The great thing about summer is all the fruit that is in season. Choose your favorite fresh fruit to round out your meals, such as sliced strawberries alongside your morning eggs, or an orange with your lunch. But don’t forget the many other ways to prepare fruit: cooked, steamed, stewed or in sauces, too! In fact, preparing fruits this way can make them easier to digest, allowing your body to absorb all the nutrients they have to offer.
Everyone knows you’ve got to eat your greens—but don’t forget to eat the other colors of the rainbow, too! Red peppers, purple eggplant, orange carrots… not only are colorful veggies beautiful to look at, but they provide an important wealth of vitamins, minerals and fiber for your diet. Whether garden-fresh, roasted, steamed or grilled, make sure your plate has plenty of veggies for good health.
Speaking of fiber, whole grains are a great source of this important nutrient. Getting the right amount of fiber for your body can be easier than you think if you swap in whole grains. For example, switch out cold cereal for steel cut oatmeal, or swap brown rice for white rice as a side dish for dinner. If you tolerate popcorn well, it’s a whole grain that makes a tasty snack.
The fourth component of a healthy plate is lean proteins. While a flavorful cut of beef is tasty now and then, you can increase your heart health by choosing lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and even some cuts of pork.
Recipe: Healthy Summer Salmon and Veggies
Here’s an example of an easy, healthy meal for one. The flavorful salmon, fresh fruit and veggies and whole grain rice make a filling, nutritious meal that’s simple to put together.
1 filet of salmon, about 3-5 oz.
½ zucchini, sliced
¼ onion, sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup rice, cooked (choose brown rice for additional fiber)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. In a bowl, toss the sliced veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the foil-lined sheet. Next add the salmon filet, skin side down, to the same pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add one to two slices of lemon.
Bake at 450 for 12 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and salmon is cooked through.
Plate up the salmon and veggies, and add brown rice on the side, and enjoy this healthy summer meal for one!
Healthy summer treats
But don’t forget about dessert. After all, what is summer without some cool, sweet treats? They’re a delicious reminder of the joys of the season.
Soft-serve ice cream is a well-loved treat – but there are healthier options, too!
A picnic staple, watermelon slices are best enjoyed outdoors on a sunny day. But no matter where you eat your watermelon, you’ll be getting lots of nutrients and minerals in this low-calorie, fat-free, hydrating snack.
Made with yogurt, fruit and other healthy ingredients, a smoothie offers a great way to pack extra fiber and protein into your diet. Add berries for antioxidants, or blend in almond milk or powder for extra Vitamin E.
Hydrating and low in fat and cholesterol, ice pops are a great way to slake your thirst and stay cool. Try freezing fruit juices with pieces of real fruit for extra nutrients and fiber. You can even get ice pop or Popsicle molds in a variety of fun shapes.
Made fresh and chilled to perfection, fruit salad hits the spot while making memories during the summer. Grapes, strawberries, and melon are classic ingredients; try adding blueberries, banana, or even more exotic fruits such as starfruit, mango or papaya.
In-season fruit can be served countless ways over the summer. Try grilled peaches or pineapple as a side dish or even as a dessert — it intensifies the flavor without adding fat or cholesterol.
Healthy living at Generations
At Generations, we love healthy eating — but we love our Generations family even more. Schedule a tour or contact us to learn more about how you can join the Generations family and enjoy healthy senior living.