Following a plant-based diet is associated with a wide variety of health benefits, including good heart health, weight loss, and healthy blood pressure. However, it can be challenging to get used to a plant-based diet after spending years eating a typical Western diet loaded with animal-based products. Here are a few tips that can make it easier to switch to a plant-based diet in the senior years.
1. Get Creative with Spices
The right spices make a huge difference in the enjoyment of food. The reason spices are so important is because seniors tend to have dulled taste buds, so they need strong flavorings to make food taste exciting. Spices such as turmeric and cumin contain valuable antioxidants, so seniors also get a boost to their health when using them.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating a more nutritious diet. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Fort Worth elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Roast Vegetables Instead of Boiling Them
Traditional methods for cooking vegetables often involve steaming or boiling the vegetables, which tends to make them fairly bland. For a meal packed with flavor, try spreading bite-sized pieces of vegetables on a sheet tray and baking them at high heat. The higher heat caramelizes the natural sugars in many vegetables and brings out more flavor.
3. Avoid Excessive Amounts of Processed Carbohydrates
Eating nothing but toast, fries, and potato chips might technically count as a plant-based diet, but it won’t do much for overall health. To follow a truly effective plant-based diet, seniors need to focus more on whole grains and fresh vegetables and avoid eating only processed carbs for each meal. Instead, they should use tasty vegetables and legumes to make up the bulk of the diet and add some whole grains, such as quinoa or oats, if they want to make a filling meal.
Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Fort Worth, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
4. Find Plant-Based Proteins
Cutting back on meat can make it a little difficult for seniors to get protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Protein is also useful because it keeps seniors feeling full between meals, so they need to make sure they find tasty plant-based alternative proteins for each meal. Legumes such as lentils, soybeans, black beans, and chickpeas are all great protein sources, and seniors can also get protein from nuts, quinoa, and even vegetables such as spinach.
5. Focus on Lifestyle Changes Instead of Dieting
The traditional approach to dieting often involves suddenly cutting out foods and drastically limiting the diet. This sort of rigid routine normally isn’t sustainable in the long run. Instead, it may be helpful to think of plant-based eating as a lifestyle change. Seniors should make gradual changes to what they eat and not feel guilty if they have some animal products while making these changes. In the long run, any healthy change, no matter how small, is a good one.
Professional caregivers with expertise in nutrition can be a terrific asset for seniors who are adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Fort Worth families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (817) 720-5556.