Many of us are choosing to add more superfoods, those rich in vitamins, nutrients and other important ingredients that can help us to live longer and healthier lives. For today’s active seniors, these foods can help to make their bones stronger and muscles more lean and mean.
The infographic below shows a hearty list of many of these superior edibles that pack a lot of flavor into them for fewer calories. It also shows how each food can benefit our bodies and the ingredients which help them to give us more than simple subsistence.
A Superfoods Color Guide for Seniors
Dietitians and nutritionists often recommend certain foods according to their color and most will say the darker the hue, the most nutritional benefits that are available to us through consuming them. So what does color have to do with how healthy our fruits and vegetables are for us? One word, phytochemicals, which occur naturally only in plants (‘phyto’ is greek for ‘plant’) and are responsible for color and other sensory properties, such as the deep purple of blueberries or the rich scent of garlic.
BLUE & PURPLE
Blueberries, as mentioned before, are considered to have the highest antioxidant activity of all foods. Other bluish-purple foods such as eggplant (especially the skin), blackberries, prunes, and plums are also rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that are particularly heart healthy and may help to support healthier blood pressure numbers.
Delicious red fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon and cranberries get their red hue from lycopene, which is the main pigment found in these foods. Lycopene is a carotenoid, a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some types of cancers, especially prostate cancer, and can protect against heart attacks. Tomatoes have the most concentrated source of this nutritious phytochemical.
YELLOW & ORANGE
One might first imagine oranges, carrots, yellow and green bell peppers being associated with this color, but they also include mangos, cantaloupe, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and apricots. This group is a great representation of beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C. They’re also rich in beta-carotene, which is a particularly good antioxidant. They also contain carotenoids that help our body convert them into to vitamin A, an integral nutrient necessary for maintaining good vision and immune function, as well as skin and bone health.
A can of spinach always made Popeye’s muscles pop, but in reality look for fresh, green vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts for better health. Chlorophyll colors these vegetables and in our system, these green foods are high in isothiocyanates, which induces enzymes in the liver that aid the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds from our bloodstream. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, as well as carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids.
A variant of both shades encompasses healthy foods like avocados, kiwi, and even pistachios have plenty of lutein, which is particularly beneficial for eye health. Our eyes contain lutein receptors in the macula near the center of our pupils and lutein helps protect against age-related macular degeneration. But take it easy on the guacamole and nuts, since they are both high in fat.
Check out these other healthy superfoods as shown below…
Adding more of these to our diet will help us to stay trim and fit while keeping us more active and healthy. Here’s where we add the standard disclaimer that you should always check with your doctor before making changes to your diet, but it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll agree with these healthier choices.