Incorporating More Fruits & Vegetables into Your Diet
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is a key part of good health, especially for seniors. Replacing processed foods with fresh options ensures that you’re receiving more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Summer is a wonderful time to find fresh produce of all colors or try your hand at growing your own. September is “Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month,” and the perfect time to make a conscious effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Check Out the Farmers Market
If you like to buy local or are not impressed with your grocery store’s selection or prices, head out to the farmers market. You can buy fresh produce that is locally grown and talk to the owners about what they have, how it’s grown, and some options for use. You may discover some fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before, or learn new ways to prepare them.
Blend Them In
An easy way to add more produce to your diet is to blend it into foods that you already eat. Mix up a smoothie with freshly frozen fruit and throw in a small handful of spinach or kale for an extra punch of nutrients. Bake some banana bread or zucchini bread, or blend up carrots, onions, and greens to add to your spaghetti sauce. You can also buy pasta that has vegetables incorporated into it already.
Toss Them on Top
If you’re making scrambled eggs, toss in some tomato, green pepper, onion, mushrooms, and/or spinach and make it a western omelet. Add fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or banana slices on top of yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, or pancakes. If you’re making soup or pizza, increase the number of vegetables that are already included, and decrease the amount of meat or pasta.
Spice Things Up
Some people turn their nose up at fresh, steamed, or roasted vegetables because they aren’t sold on the taste. Enhance the flavor by seasoning them with a variety of herbs and spices. You can change up the combinations and how the vegetables are cooked to see what you like best. For fresh veggies, try dipping them in hummus or a low-calorie dressing or dip.
You don’t have to change your entire diet overnight. Make simple switches a little bit at a time. A good rule of thumb is that half of your plate should be vegetables and fruits, so slowly start cutting back on the carbs or meat and adding more produce and plant-based protein. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter or in the refrigerator so that when you want a snack, you can reach for something healthy.
Rather than relying on a lot of supplements, try to get your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the foods you eat. Focus on eating a wide variety of foods and challenging yourself to try new things. If you have trouble organizing or preparing meals or getting groceries, an in-home care provider can ensure you have everything you need and help with these tasks. This way, you’ll know that you have access to healthy foods and meals every day. Always Best Care’s in-home caregivers can also assist with a wide range of other tasks to help you age in place more safely and comfortably. Contact us today at 586 329-1950 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.