Nutrient Rich Foods are Important for Seniors

Portrait of happy girl with grandfather preparing vegetables at home

Nutrient rich foods will increase energy, provide more vitamins, manage weight and blood sugar, and improve overall health. If you are living at home with assistance, a good home health aide can help make sure your shopping includes these foods and assist you in preparing healthy, nutritious meals. Here are some of the benefits of nutrient-rich foods from our team of UMC HomeWorks home health aides.

Support disease prevention

While keeping blood sugar levels stable and in a healthy range is important for diabetes, it’s good advice for all of us to keep in mind as we get older. By stabilizing blood sugar, diabetics can slow or prevent vision loss, nerve damage, organ damage, and damage to the blood vessels. For those of us without diabetes, it helps to prevent risks for diabetes and kidney disease, heart disease, and vision loss. Nutrient-rich foods that help stabilize blood sugar include beans, legumes, whole wheat carbohydrates, unsweetened organic yogurt, and oats.

Increase energy levels

We’ve all experienced that dip in energy in the afternoon or felt tired after a meal. That feeling is usually because we’ve been eating processed and sugary foods that release their energy all in one go, giving us a sugar crash a few hours later. Nutrient rich foods are different because the body breaks them down slowly, releasing the sugars, vitamins, and minerals at a slow but steady pace. This helps to maintain a regular flow of energy through the day, so you don’t get overly tired or fatigued too quickly, and you’ll feel more energized as a result! Instead of sweet treats, you can try eating seasonal fruits or organic unsweetened yogurt with a little honey or granola instead.

Stabilize your mood

It’s common knowledge that when we’re feeling hungry, we’re not the best company! We can see it clearly in children as they get grumpy, easily frustrated, angry, or volatile when they need a meal, but it’s the same for adults. Seniors can more easily suffer from mood swings due to poor nutrition because the body finds it more challenging to absorb nutrients and their appetite often decreases. Eating nutrient rich foods helps to ensure your body is getting as much nutrition as possible, helping to prevent these mood swings. You can try eating several smaller meals of nutrient rich foods per day or drinking smoothies filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables to get a wider range of nutrients into your diet.

Maintain a healthy weight

As you get older, your metabolism, muscles, and bones change – and so does your diet. You might find it difficult to get enough exercise so you put on weight, or you may find your appetite is reduced, so you lose too much weight. Because nutrient rich foods pack the most in terms of useful calories and healthy nutrients, eating them gives your body the best chance of finding what it needs when it needs it – and this makes it much easier to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re snacking often, feeling unsatisfied by your meals, or relying on convenience foods, you’re probably getting sugar, salt, and not much else! Swapping this out for seasonal fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and unprocessed food will help you feel full for longer and give your body the nutrients it’s looking for.

UMC HomeWorks home health aides can make sure your parents are getting nutrient rich foods

The United Methodist Communities HomeWorks program is designed for seniors who want more assistance in daily life, while still enjoying the comfort of home and their communities. To find out how we can help you or your senior parents live a healthy independent life through in-home care, please contact us today or visit our website at

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