Best Foods for Senior Citizens: Food Benefits for Your Brain, Bones & Digestion

As we age, our health and nutrition usually become increasingly important in our elder years. While each senior has different nutritional needs and unique health concerns or conditions that may affect what they are able to eat, here is a list of the best health foods with added benefits for senior citizens.

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Brain Food: These foods improve brain function, help you maintain memory and more.

  • Shellfish: Shellfish contains Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and potassium which are great for brain function.
  • Low-fat foods: Psychology Today reports that a diet rich in saturated fatty foods can lead to depression and cancer.
  • Salmon: Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and brain.
  • Canola oil: Cook with canola oil instead of corn and sunflower oils to up your intake of omega-3s.
  • Avocado: Avocado is full of the good kinds of fatty acids, and it’s also supposed to be good for your hair and nails.
  • Good carbohydrates: To keep your glucose levels at the right level, eat vitamin-rich, whole grain cereals, toast or crackers when your energy is low.
  • Eggs: Eggs contain choline, a type of B vitamin that is good for memory and stress management.
  • Almonds: Almonds are often touted as a good brain food, giving you lots of energy. They also contain choline.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have many great health benefits, and the brain especially loves green, leafy veggies.
  • Lean beef: Lean beef and beef liver also contain choline.

Bone Health: As we get older, our bones get weaker and more brittle. Women are at risk for osteoporosis.

  • Fortified milk: Make sure the milk you’re drinking is fortified with Vitamin D.
  • Kale: Kale is rich in Vitamin K and contains calcium.
  • Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is estimated to have between 318 and 156 mg of calcium.
  • Fortified orange juice: Fortified OJ is also a great source of Vitamin D.
  • Cabbage: Cabbage raises estrogen levels, which is good for aging women.
  • Calcium-fortified cereal: WebMD suggests having 1 cup of calcium-fortified cereal for a bone-healthy breakfast.
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk: If you’re lactose intolerant, try soy milk, which contains between 80 and 500 mg of calcium if it’s fortified.
  • Collards: Just 1/2 a cup of collards contains about 20% of your recommended daily value of calcium.
  • Dandelion: Add dandelion to your recipes to get heaping doses of boron and a good share of calcium.
  • Yogurt: One cup of yogurt contains between 300 and 400 mg of calcium.

Digestion and More: If you need help fighting constipation, colon problems or UTIs, check out this list with your doctor.

  • Red beets: Red beets are said to help constipation symptoms.
  • Non-greasy foods: Greasy foods are harder to digest and can give more sensitive tracts heartburn and discomfort.
  • Cranberry juice: Drink 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry juice concentrate) to ward off urinary tract infections.
  • Cod liver oil: Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin D, cod liver oil is also good for the digestive tract.
  • Green tea: Some believe that green tea helps ease Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and it’s also good for the heart.
  • Raw foods: Raw and unprocessed foods are best for warding off colon cancer.
  • Barley: Soluble fiber, which does not create excess gas, is found in barley.
  • Prunes: Prunes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps digestion and bowel movements.
  • Oat bran: Oat bran is another source of soluble fiber.
  • Turnips: Include turnips in your meals to get even more dietary fiber.