Senior Health

9/28/2021 | By Terri L. Jones

Three of my grandparents passed away well before their 80th birthday; however, my maternal grandmother was healthy and living independently into her mid-90s. While talking to her on the phone one day, I asked, half-jokingly, for her secret to such a long, healthy life. She said very simply, “I’ve eaten oatmeal with blueberries every single morning for most of my life.” This was more than a decade ago, but it seems nutritionists today are agreeing with her. Below are 10 superfoods for seniors that will give you the nutrients you need without the excess calories, sugar, fat and preservatives that you don’t!

1. Blueberries

Blueberries have high levels of phytochemicals and an antioxidant profile that promotes bone health in addition to brain health.

How much should you eat per day? ½ to 1 cup  

2. Dark green, leafy veggies

Dark green, leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, are high in antioxidants like blueberries, but they are also rich in folate, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin K. Eating these veggies can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and more – making them one of the best superfoods for seniors.

How much should you eat per day? 2 ½ cups 

3. Cruciferous veggies

While we’re talking veggies, cruciferous vegetables, including brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, contain a phytonutrient called sulforaphane that helps protect against cancer.

How much should you eat per day? 4 to 6 sprouts (or comparable)

4. Fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help minimize the risk of heart disease. It’s also a great source of protein, which is critical with every meal because your body processes protein less efficiently as you age.

How much should you eat per day? 4 to 6 ounces

Recipe: Atlantic Salmon with Orange Glaze

5. Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein, but the egg yolk is also rich in a number of important nutrients, including choline, which helps regulate memory and mood. 

How much should you eat per day? Up to three eggs (and eat the whole egg, not just the white!)

6. Plain Greek yogurt

Plain Greek yogurt is rich in protein that helps minimize the muscle loss common with aging. To keep bones strong, this delicious treat also contains 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Plain yogurt is best; add some fruit for natural sweetness.

How much should you eat per day? Six to eight ounces (it’s great as a sour cream substitute)

7. Nuts and seeds

Walnuts, ground flax, chia and hemp seeds, in particular, are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation caused by omega-6 fats found in snack foods.

How much should you eat per day? A handful (don’t overdo it because of the calories and fat)

8. Beans

Beans, including edamame and lentils, are high in fiber. This is one of the best superfoods for seniors as it can help protect against cancer, weight gain, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

How much should you eat per day? 1/2 cup

9. Whole grains

Whole grains, including oatmeal, provide many important nutrients, including fiber, folate, iron, magnesium potassium and protein. 

How much should you eat per day? 3-4 ounces (1 ounce is equivalent to a slice of whole grain bread or ½ cup of cooked oatmeal)

10. Water

While not a “superfood,” per se, water is just as important to your long-term health. Drink up!

How much should you drink per day? Half your body weight (for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 75 ounces of water daily)

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide. She also writes for many other local magazines and publications.

Terri L. Jones