As temperature rises and summer arrives, it becomes crucial for individuals to prioritize their nutrition and hydration. Older adults are more susceptible to dehydration and other heat-related illnesses, so focusing on a well-balanced diet and staying properly hydrated is essential.
As a luxury senior living provider in Texas, our team at Franklin Park® Senior Living understands the importance of summer health. We want to help you enjoy and get the most out of the season with these simple summer nutrition tips.
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the biggest aspects of summer health and nutrition is maintaining proper hydration. Because aging reduces the body’s ability to retain water, older adults are more susceptible to dehydration, which can lead to numerous health issues.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially water, with a goal of consuming at least eight cups per day. To make hydration more exciting, try flavoring your water with slices of fresh fruit or herbs like mint or basil. You can also enjoy herbal teas or infused water for added hydration. In addition, avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Additionally, incorporating foods into your diet with a high water content can help you stay hydrated. A few of these include watermelon, cucumbers, and citrus fruits.
2. Adapt to Lighter Meals
Summer’s warmer temperatures often reduce appetite, especially for heavy, calorie-dense meals. Instead, adapt your diet by incorporating lighter, refreshing options. For example, try salads with lean proteins like grilled chicken or fish, as well as cold soups like gazpacho or cucumber soup.
These meals provide necessary nutrients without weighing you down. Incorporating fresh herbs and spices can also enhance the flavors of these lighter meals, making them more enjoyable.
3. Be Mindful of Food Safety
Proper food safety practices are crucial, especially during the warmer months. Be aware of the risks of foodborne illnesses associated with outdoor picnics and barbecues. Remember to:
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption
- Store perishable foods in a cooler with ice or gel packs
- Avoid leaving food out in the heat for an extended period of time
- Cook meat and poultry to the appropriate internal temperature
- Practice good hand hygiene before handling food
4. Emphasize Nutrient-Rich Foods
Choosing nutrient-dense foods is essential for meeting your dietary requirements during the summer. Focus on consuming a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Fruits and vegetables should be the stars of summer meals. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help support immune function and overall health. Try to include a rainbow of colorful produce in your meals, such as berries, leafy greens, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread provide essential nutrients and fiber. These can be incorporated into meals or enjoyed as a side dish.
Lean proteins like fish, poultry, beans, and tofu provide important amino acids for muscle maintenance and repair. You should aim for a moderate intake of protein to support healthy aging.
Healthy fats, found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil, are important for brain health and reducing inflammation. You can incorporate these healthy fats into your diet by using olive oil in salads, adding avocado to sandwiches, or enjoying a handful of nuts as a snack.
Dining at Franklin Park® Senior Living
At our luxury senior living communities in Texas, we take our dining experience very seriously. Our professional chefs create brilliant, appetizing meals that are tailored to the needs and wants of each resident.
We are proud to offer lighter meals, home-style favorites, and everything in between. Whether the dish is traditional Texas BBQ, a colorful fruit salad, or a mouth-watering slice carved from blackened prime rib, it is our goal to make our culinary specialties a delight to the palate and the senses of each resident in our community.
Being mindful of your nutrition and hydration habits can go a long way in helping you promote summer health and enjoy the season. Remember to consult a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, our luxury senior living communities in Texas focus on pleasing our residents and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through offering delicious and nutritious meals in addition to our supportive care services. Contact our team to learn more!