According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people than all forms of cancer combined. Although heart disease in seniors is prevalent, it can be prevented. Eating the right foods can keep your loved one’s heart healthy and lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. Here are six foods to add to a senior’s diet to boost heart health!
Doctors and nutritionists recommend that seniors eat two servings a week of fish, such as salmon and trout. This heart-healthy food increases the levels of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in the body. These acids lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of blood clots, decreases the odds of a heart attack or stroke, and lowers your senior’s risk of having an irregular heartbeat. Other fish that keep seniors’ hearts healthy include sardines, tuna, and mackerel.
Nuts boost heart health because of their high fiber levels. They can lower unhealthy cholesterol levels, and nuts and almonds keep seniors feeling fuller for a longer period, which helps them lose or maintain weight. Nuts also contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Having oatmeal for breakfast is a nutritious way to start a senior’s day. Oats have been shown to quickly lower cholesterol levels. They contain beta-glucan, a fiber that boosts heart health and helps prevent other health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation. Topping oatmeal off with berries like blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries makes a bowl of oatmeal even healthier and more delicious.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a perfect heart-healthy snack for seniors with a sweet tooth. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that eating a small amount of dark chocolate consisting of at least 70% cocoa may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Unlike many fruits, avocados are low in sugar and high in healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber. As a result, they’ve been shown to be beneficial in the battles against high cholesterol and heart disease. Avocados can be sliced and served on salads, added to smoothies, spread on whole-grain toast, or just eaten plain.
Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils, which are all heart-healthy. They are often low in fat and cholesterol-free. Legumes are also an excellent source of minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, and folate, and they contain soluble and insoluble fiber, making them a resistant starch that supports heart health. Legumes may also reduce triglycerides and cholesterol.
Need Help Maintaining Your Senior’s Heart Healthy Diet?
If your senior needs assistance preparing nutritious meals, we can help. Our dedicated caregivers help with shopping, meal preparation, clean-up, and many other daily tasks.
Talk with one of our professional care managers today. We’d love to learn more about your loved one and put together a professional care plan that will help them remain healthy and age in place where they’re most comfortable – at home.