When you're helping your elderly loved one to gradually make her diet healthier, you start looking at different nutrients. Calcium may be one nutrient that your elderly loved one needs to get more of on a daily basis. There are always supplements, but the best way to get any nutrient boost is from the foods that your loved one eats.
Why Does She Need Calcium?
Everyone needs calcium because it helps to keep both bones and teeth strong, even when you're older. Calcium is also key to your elderly loved one's nervous system and it can help your loved one's heart to regulate its own beat. Talk to your loved one's doctor about how much calcium she needs in her diet and whether she is deficient at all in calcium.
Choose Healthy Dairy Products
Dairy products are often the first food that most people think of when it comes to calcium. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are three of the most popular choices. When you choose these, keep your loved one's other dietary needs in mind, too. For example, when you're choosing yogurt, opt for versions that are not unsweetened rather than flavored yogurts. You can go with plain yogurt and add ingredients such as local honey, fruit, and nuts to jazz it up.
Another Reason to Add More Vegetables
Vegetables, particularly dark, leafy greens, are a much better source of calcium than you might think. Kale, spinach, and collard greens are excellent choices. Other good choices can include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Green beans, squashes, and celery should also make the list.
Don't Forget Beans
Beans are a fantastic choice for fiber, protein, and even calcium. Everything from black-eyed peas to black beans make the list. For best results, avoid canned beans because of added sodium. Instead, buy dried beans and then soak them, cook them, and freeze them.
You'll save money and you'll know exactly what's in them.
Consider hiring senior care providers to help with meal planning and preparation. That frees up time and energy you can spend with your elderly loved one.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Leslie, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.