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Ideas From Central Parke Nursing Home For Using In-Season Produce

Ways For Your Loved One to Enjoy The Benefits of Summer Fruits and Veggies

Ways For Your Loved One to Enjoy The Benefits of Summer Fruits and Veggies

Not only is fresh produce tasty, but it also offers so many health benefits for people of all ages--especially seniors. In the summer, enjoying water-rich produce such as watermelon, lettuce and berries help seniors with dementia stay hydrated and healthy! Here are some fun ideas for taking advantage of seasonal produce from Central Parke, a Mason, Ohio assisted living and memory care community:

Fruit Salad or Fruit Bowl

With the right quantity, quality, and types of fruits, a fruit salad can be chock-full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, offering a wide range of health benefits for your loved one, including weight management and lower blood pressure. Not to mention that there’s nothing quite as delicious as a juicy fruit salad in the summer! All you have to do is pick your fruit, cut it up, and throw it in a bowl! Consider adding some of these in-season fruits into your loved one’s fruit salads or bowls:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries (with seeds and stems removed)
  • Peaches
  • Seedless Grapes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon

Leafy Salad

A salad a day keeps the doctor away! In the summer heat, a nice, crisp salad can be super refreshing and it offers many benefits. Raw vegetables are full of fiber to help digestion and antioxidants to boost immunity. There are so many different kinds of salads to make, so you and your loved one never have to eat the same one twice! Try recreating classic salads such as Caesar, cobb, summer, greek, chef, Italian and more. In addition to in-season produce, you can also add other items such as nuts, croutons, seeds, and cheese! We recommend pairing your salad with a light and refreshing dressing, such as a raspberry vinaigrette, greek yogurt dressing, avocado-lime, balsamic, or simply a squeeze of lemon and olive oil. A lot of these dressings can be homemade, too! Here are some of the many in-season produce options that you can mix and match to create a delicious, healthy salad for your loved one:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Leafy lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Onion
  • Strawberries
  • Mandarin orange segments

Smoothies

There’s just something about a refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day. Luckily, all the ingredients for a berry smoothie are in season in the summer! Consider making your loved one a berry smoothie with in-season fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries to keep them hydrated. Berries are very healthy, as they are low in calories but high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. They also have many benefits for heart health, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Spinach is another in-season produce item that is great to add to smoothies and is considered a superfood. It doesn’t take over the berry taste, so it really just adds more nutrients and health benefits! It supports brain health, is nutrient-packed, helps reduce blood pressure and so many more things. In addition to your produce, Greek yogurt is also an ideal backbone for smoothies. It adds a creamy texture, is protein-packed, improves gut health, boosts metabolism, and more!

Vegetable Medley

Vegetables are nutrient-dense, healthy carbs--this makes them more filling! Veggie medleys are a very easy, simple, and quick meal that can be easily customized to meet your loved one’s preferences. The most common way to cook them is by sauteing, baking, or roasting them. In addition to fresh veggies, consider pairing them with a protein, such as grilled chicken, fish, or beef. Mix and match some of these in-season vegetables to make a delicious vegetable medley for your loved one:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers

There are so many different ways to take advantage of delicious, fresh in-season produce--these are just a few of our favorites. Other ideas include cucumber water, apples with peanut butter--or just raw fruits and veggies for snacks! Plus, there are so many benefits to eating these in-season produce items that can help your loved one stay hydrated and healthy this summer.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Central Parke, contact our friendly team today.