Let’s find ways to make nutrition easier. Focus on four main needs as we age: protein, calcium, vitamin D and vit amin B12. All are readily available in your favorite green salad. There are many supplement options out there, but the best way for your body to absorb these nutrients is naturally through your diet.
Getting daily protein improves muscle mass and healing. Aim for getting between 5 to 6.5 oz. a day (3 oz. of protein is about the size of a deck of cards) by adding protein sources at each meal.
Great sources are in corn, broccoli, asparagus and brussels sprouts. Add in flax or chia seeds, garbanzo beans, quinoa, lentils or nuts for easy snack mixes and salad toppers that will last in your pantry.
Calcium (rebuild bones and osteoporosis prevention) is often delivered in dairy products. They are actually fortified sources, meaning nutrients are added while getting items market ready. If dairy upsets your digestion, try other great sources in green leafy vegetables like kale, bok choy, collard greens or broccoli and most nuts.
Vitamin D pairs with calcium for bone health and provides improved immunity. Pair a 10-minute stroll in the sunlight with vitamin D fortified orange juice or mushrooms. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to improve your brain. An incredibly important part of your nutrition is found in apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges and mangos.
Not excited by the thought of a lush leafy green salad each day? Season and roast your veggies in the oven. Turn them into a soup. Make a smoothie. There’s plenty of alternatives to get your vitamins in a delicious way. Does your produce wilt away before you even get to use it? Help them last longer with proper storage techniques:
•Prolong your asparagus by cutting off the stems and storing them in a glass of water in the fridge.
•Re-use your large finished yogurt container to store your leafy green veggies.
•Place paper napkins between the layers to absorbmoisture.
•Store apples, bananas, onions and potatoes separate from everything else and at roomtemperature.
•Peel and cut fruit, chop and blanch green leafy veggies and store them in your freezer for up to 3months.
•Freeze herbs with some olive oil in ice cube trays for quick easy recipe starters year-round.
•Remove the green tops off root vegetables likecarrots, beets or turnips for use in soups.
•Or place them in a shallow bowl of water andregrow them. Move them to a pot of soil once yousee new leaves.
Although some pandemic-timed SNAP benefits have been discontinued, there are many new programs that are being tested out right now. Research and keep informed of the new SNAP changes. SNAP benefits are also available for use at farmers markets throughout the state.