Jewish Senior Living: 6 Fantastic February Foods For Seniors

image of holiday fruitThe “new year for trees,” Tu B’Shvat, is just a few days away. This holiday brings an opportunity to enjoy a variety of delicious and healthful foods, like whole grain wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. These foods are a perfect way to fill a senior’s plate during the winter months.

While the growing season hasn’t begun yet in here in Rockland County, celebrating the holiday with these delightful foods during our winter months helps promote good health and is a pleasant reminder of the warmth and abundance to come.

Whole grains and fruit, especially many of those associated with Tu B’Shvat, combine to help improve digestion and offer benefits for the whole body. From reduced cholesterol to protection against many illnesses, seniors and their families of all ages can benefit from these powerful and delicious foods!

Benefits of Healthy Grains and Fruits for Seniors

Whole grains and the fruits of Tu B’Shvat – whether dried or fresh – provide a healthy boost of color and flavor during the long winter months.

  1. Barley – Barley in particular is a good choice for seniors. High in fiber, minerals, and B vitamins, barley aids good digestion and helps provide protection against heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
  2. Grapes – Grown on every continent on earth except for Antarctica, grapes are a staple food for people around the world. And no wonder! Grapes are high in anti-oxidants, which have been shown to provide protection against some cancers. And, they have anti-inflammatory properties and, like grains, help to lower cholesterol. Grapes also have high water content, which helps with hydration during cold, dry months.
  3. Figs – Figs are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure. The fiber in figs is helpful in digestion, and fruit fiber especially is shown to be protective against breast cancer in senior women.
  4. Pomegranates – Pomegranates and pomegranate juice have become very popular in the U.S. recently. Pomegranates offer many of the benefits of other fruits (such as vitamin C and fiber), and much more. The special properties of pomegranates have been shown to reduce dental plaque and to reduce the formation of amyloid plaque in the brain. Amyloid plaque is prominent in Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Olives – Did you know that olive trees can live for hundreds of years? Like the trees that produce them, olives are associated with longevity. The healthy, unsaturated fats in olives are ideal for heart health. Black olives in particular are high in iron, and help maintain robust energy by keeping oxygen moving throughout the body.
  6. Dates – Dates are sweet as candy and a terrific way to get plenty of heart-healthy fiber and minerals. In moderation, they’re an ideal snack and dessert!

FountainView at College Road is a glatt kosher senior living community in Rockland County, NY.

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