5 Simple & Nutritious Salads Older Adults Should Try

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on May 20, 2019

Healthy salads are ideal for ensuring older adults receive the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need on a daily basis. There’s often little to no cooking involved, and you have full control over the ingredients. Salads are also usually simple to prepare. There are several recommended salad recipes you might want to consider serving to your senior loved one.

1. Fruit Salad

Slice or dice a number of heart-healthy fresh fruits into a bowl. Use brightly colored berries, bananas, melons, and other favorites. Berries are rich in antioxidants that stave off cellular damage from free radicals. The bananas and melon are good sources of potassium, which is necessary for cardiac and skeletal muscle function along with increasing bone density. Fruits are traditionally low in calories, so they don’t cause an abnormal spike in blood sugar. Fresh fruit is also high in fiber, which helps older adults feel full longer. A fruit salad also provides vitamins A and C. 

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 Tucson at-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. Chicken and Nut Salad

Simply combine chopped dark leafy greens with diced leftover chicken, carrots, and nuts. Add some low-fat shredded cheese and a low-fat dressing. The chicken, cheese, and nuts provide protein, which is lacking in many seniors’ diets. Protein is needed for immune system and muscle function along with tissue repair. The greens and cheese offer calcium, which aids in bone health, and the carrots are a rich source of vitamin A. This quick meal also offers B complex vitamins and a healthy dose of fiber.

3. Egg and Poultry Salad

Combine diced leftover chicken or turkey with a chopped boiled egg. Add diced celery and spoon the mixture over a bed of dark leafy greens. Use apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard as the dressing. The egg and poultry satisfy protein needs. The greens and celery offer fiber along with calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Mustard contains a mixture of electrolyte minerals, which are beneficial for seniors who use diuretics. The vinegar has the potential to lower LDL cholesterol. 

Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Tucson, 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. Traditional Panzanella Salad

This Italian favorite features cubed crusty bread, sliced tomatoes, olives, and cubed or shredded mozzarella cheese on a bed of dark leafy greens. Moisten the combination with a drizzle of olive oil. The bread, greens, and other vegetables provide fiber. The cheese offers protein and calcium. The olives and olive oil supply omega-3 fatty acids that protect the cardiovascular system and cognitive health. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene in addition to providing vitamin C.

5. Healthier Potato Salad

Dice or slice unpeeled cooked potatoes and combine with chopped hard-boiled eggs and sliced olives. Replace the mayonnaise-based dressing with a vinaigrette created using olive oil. Potatoes are a good source of potassium, which regulates blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle function. The eggs serve as a complete protein, and the olives and olive oil provide omega-3 fatty acids. 

An in-home caregiver 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 elderly home care. Tucson 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.