Following the constantly changing and evolving list of foods that are good for you can get exhausting. Yesterday’s “Superfood” is today’s carcinogen. Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale has its very own culinary training program, so we understand that following nutritional guidelines can get tricky, especially if you’re monitoring the diet of an aging adult. Regardless of your age, these 5 foods have nutritional powers that can’t be ignored and we’re pretty positive that they aren’t one hit wonders.
1. Kefir is a yogurt-like food that is packed full of ingredients that help maintain a healthy gut. It has probiotics to keep the digestive tract operating smoothly, calcium for strong bones, protein to fuel muscles, and B vitamins to support your blood and nervous system. Look for kefir without added sugars and preservatives and if you find the taste a bit too tart, throw it into a smoothie with organic berries.
2. Maca powder has a whole slew of powerful healing properties. This root belonging to the radish family has been known to balance female hormones and mood, enhance sexual function, increase energy and improve skin. Not to mention the fact that Maca is rich in vitamins B, C, and E as well as packing plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. Throw it into a superfood smoothie, bake it into some healthy muffins or sprinkle some on top of a salad for an extra health boost. Just remember to follow recommended doses as too much of a good thing can cause health issues.
3. Spirulina is a natural algae that is turned into powder or pill form for everyday consumption. Spirulina has so many health benefits that we can’t cover them all in this blog post. This powder is extremely rich in high-quality proteins, amino acids, essential vitamins and healthy fatty acids. Additionally, this health food has been known to ease allergy symptoms and detox the body of metals. To avoid the unpleasant taste of Spirulina, consider purchasing it in pill form or mixing it into a fruity breakfast smoothie.
4. Cocoa beans, which are roasted and ground to produce cocoa, have powerful antioxidants when consumed whole, broken up as “nibs”, or as naturally ground cocoa. While you can find chocolate bars with a percentage of cacoa, they have the best benefits when eaten in their most basic form. Their claim to fame is containing high level of flavonoids, which lower risk for disease and destroys free radicals in human cells. Flavonoids have also been known to lower the risk for cancer and degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s. You can purchase raw cacoa nibs at health food stores for an easy snack on the go.
5. Herbal teas have natural healing properties and they also happen to taste delicious! Natural herbal teas are caffeine free and full of pleasant health benefits. Some of our top tea choices include ginger to help with digestion, chamomile to calm and soothe the mind, rooibos to ward off disease and fight signs of aging, milk thistle to cleanse the liver, and rosehip to boost the immune system. Find what flavor you like the most and enjoy a cup or two a day for the best boost to your health.
If you or an aging loved one could use additional help planning, preparing and cleaning up after meals, let a culinary-trained Scottsdale caregiver from Home Care Assistance be of service. Our hourly and 24/7 caregivers can help with a variety of daily tasks. Call (480) 448-6215 to set up a free in-home consultation.