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Eating Healthy

Healthy eating is crucial as we age, and your primary care provider can refer you to a nutritionist who can help you devise a strategy for shopping, cooking, and eating food that tastes good and is mindful of your overall health and wellness strategy. In case you missed it, the keyword in that first sentence is ‘strategy.’ We’ve all heard how important it is to ‘watch your diet’ and ‘get plenty of exercise’ but what about a strategy based on a specific cause?

Scientific breakthroughs are happening all around us and one of the most prevalent and beneficial studies we see today is the healing properties certain foods have on the body. This is the part of the story where I add in the disclaimer that this article is in no way meant to diagnose, treat or offer any cures for any illnesses; period! However, if there is anything to these claims, and certain foods can help with the type of illness you may be suffering from, wouldn’t it be worth investigating?

According to the National Cancer Institute, Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassica genus of plants. They include the following vegetables, among others:

Bok choy
Brussels sprouts
Collard greens

These vegetables are known to include nutrients such as vitamins C, E, and K, carotenoids (beta-carotene, zeaxanthin), lutein, folate, and minerals, plus are a good source of fiber.


The American Diabetes Association has a list of superfoods that are good for diabetes?

Dark green leafy vegetables
Citrus fruit
Sweet potatoes
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
Whole grains
Milk and yogurt


The American Heart Association recommends that we eat an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes:

A variety of fruits and vegetables
Whole grains
Low-fat dairy products
Skinless poultry and fish
Nuts and legumes
Non-tropical vegetable oils


It is also recommended that we reduce our intake of fats like saturated and trans-fats, red meat, and sugary sweets and beverages. When eating red meat, look for lean cuts; but notice that they are no longer telling you to avoid eating red meat altogether. It seems like the more they study the more things change. But that’s not a bad thing! I would rather have change than stick with incorrect information.

Many community centers offer health eating-focused classes, which can be a fun way to enjoy the company of others while learning new recipes and cooking techniques. Supplements can also be a way of getting many of these vitamins and minerals into your diet but be sure to do your homework where these are concerned as the quality varies greatly.

A special thank you to Mary Shannon at seniorsmeet.org for contributing to this article.

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