Summer Health: Nutrition Tips for Healthy AgingPosted By HarborChase on July 15, 2023
Imagine your ideal summer plans – outdoor picnics with friends, delicious seaside dinners on a coastal vacation, and maybe a special Fourth of July barbecue with loved ones. What do all of these events have in common? The promise of delicious, indulgent meals and tasty summer treats!
However, if you’re trying to keep your summer health in check as part of your personal wellness journey, these fun gatherings might seem like they can cause more harm than good. Many of the foods and meals associated with the summertime consist of fats, sugars, oils, and other ingredients that can potentially be harmful to your nutrition.
At HarborChase Senior Living, our luxury senior living communities know a thing or two about delicious, nutritional meals. Our dining experiences combine unique, indulgent flavors with fresh ingredients that deliver all the important nutrients your body needs.
If you’re gearing up for the summer season, we’re here to help! Here are some nutrition tips to enhance your summer health, provide guidelines for meals and ingredients, and help you know what foods to incorporate into your seasonal diet.
What Foods Should I Avoid This Summer?
More often than not, it’s common to think of dieting and nutrition as restrictive, involving weeding out junk food, sugary treats, or fattening ingredients. Unfortunately, with so many strict diet plans and constraining cleanses advertised on the internet, we’re often quick to think that as long as we stay away from all forms of unhealthy food, we’ll be okay.
Restrictive dieting can actually be a very dangerous practice. When we severely limit certain foods, it heightens our awareness of them, which can lead to an eventual food binge or overeating as soon as the chance is available.
Calorie restriction can also slow down metabolism in the long run and reach a point where you’ll eventually feel less satisfied with your diet. When we consider that older adults generally have lower calorie needs, choosing a restrictive diet can truly be detrimental to your health. This is why mindful eating is essential for summer health. Mindful eating is the practice of focusing your attention on the foods you choose, how they make your body feel, and reflecting on how healthy ingredients can positively affect your health.
Remember that everything is okay in moderation, and it’s fine to treat yourself every now and then to an ice cream cone or cheeseburger – especially during the fun times of the summer! That said, try not to focus too much on the foods you need to avoid or cut out completely. Instead, focus on the healthy ingredients and alternatives that you can incorporate into your summer health plan.
Smart Choices for Summer Health
The best part of the summer? All the seasonal produce that is available! Fruits and veggies are a delicious way to ensure you get the nutrients you need while enjoying unique new flavors and additions to your favorite meals. Plus, during the summer, there are plenty of perfectly fresh and ripe options.
Check out your local farmer’s market to see what they have in season, and challenge yourself to try any fruits and vegetables you’ve never had before as a fun way to keep your summer meals fresh and distinctive! Here are some great seasonal produce options to check out this summer:
- Summer Squash
- Bell Peppers
As people age, they can experience deficiencies in certain vitamins. These deficiencies can lead to serious health concerns if they continue to go unchecked and untreated, but luckily, there are plenty of ways to ensure you’re getting the proper vitamins in your diet.
- Helps promote protein absorption and contains antioxidants to fight off diseases
- Stick with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, like oranges, bell peppers, and broccoli
- Increases bone strength and health
- Incorporate fish, like salmon, swordfish, and tuna, into your summer diet
- Promotes cognitive function by helping brain cells to regenerate
- Add eggs, dairy products, and proteins, such as poultry, to your daily meals
- Regulates blood pressure and glucose levels
- Make a delicious salad with fresh leafy greens, like kale or spinach, and add nuts, seeds, and whole grains as a topping
Rather than forgo delicious treats during the summer altogether, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to choose instead:
- If your family decides to enjoy going out for an ice cream or another frozen treat on a hot day, why not suggest grabbing a frozen yogurt instead? Frozen yogurt has less fat than regular ice cream, and some frozen yogurts contain probiotics, which are excellent for gut health.
- At your next family cookout, rather than throwing hot dogs on the grill, try a kebab recipe instead. These delicious foods include meat, usually beef or chicken, with delicious fresh vegetables.
- Instead of grabbing a soda on a hot day, opt for sparkling water infused with delicious fruit flavors. Better yet, create your own infused water by mixing freshly cut berries and lemons in a pitcher of ice water.
The bottom line of summer health is simple – rather than restricting calories or creating unrealistic eating expectations, finding the right balance is key. By incorporating healthy alternatives and fresh ingredients into your everyday meals, you’ll be able to reach your summer health goals and enjoy all of the familiar flavors of the season.
Discover luxury senior living, enriching programs, and exceptional dining experiences at HarborChase today by finding your nearest community.
Categories: Health Habits