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6 Heart-Healthy Food Ideas Your Senior Parents Will Enjoy

Diet is a significant determinant of overall health, particularly the heart. Read on to discover the six heart-healthy foods to include in your senior's diet.

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    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both sexes and most racial and ethnic groups in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease claims one life in the US every 34 seconds.

    Notably, adults 65 and older have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than younger persons. Seniors are more likely to experience heart and blood vessel issues, raising their chance of cardiovascular disease.

    Diets can either make the heart conditions of senior citizens worse or better. For example, diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol are linked to a high chance of heart disease. Meanwhile, various foods are well known for supporting heart health and preventing potential cardiovascular problems.


    6 Heart-Healthy Foods That You Should Include in Your Seniors’ Meals


    12Oaks-Oatmeal and tea. Aged woman smiling before eating oatmeal and drinking tea in the morning-ss-1.Oats

    Oats are one of the healthiest grains with significant amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Also, they are gluten-free whole grain, which makes them an excellent choice for your parent’s health.

    Avenanthramides are a particular group of antioxidants that are abundant in oats. It was discovered that these antioxidants helped reduce blood pressure by boosting nitric oxide synthesis. This gas molecule also widens blood arteries and regulates blood flow.

    Additionally, numerous studies have demonstrated that oats’ beta-glucan fiber content efficiently lowers total levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. By doing so, beta-glucan fiber helps reduce the circulating cholesterol levels in the blood, lowering the risk of heart disease.


    Almond Milk

    12Oaks-Almond milk with almond in a wooden spoon and bowl-ss-2.Almond Milk

    Almond milk is a nutritious, nut-based, and heart-healthy drink that our seniors should consider putting into their grocery list immediately.

    Magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E are plentiful in pure almond milk. Moreover, unsweetened almond milk has no saturated fat and no cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in almond milk may help lower LDL cholesterol and sustain your body’s cells.

    Enriched almond milk is a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that may combat inflammation and stress. In a 2014 review, scientists studied mice that had trouble removing blood-borne fat molecules. Those mice had taken a vitamin E supplement for eight weeks. According to the findings, the accumulation of fat deposits was reduced, lowering the risk of heart disease.

    If you’re worried that store-bought almond milk might be high in sugar and fat, you can create homemade almond milk for your parents. Our seniors can have this dairy-free, vegan beverage on its own or mix it into their coffee and cereals.



    12Oaks-taking baking dish with salmon fish and vegetables out of oven at home kitchen-ss-3. Salmon

    Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in salmon. The American Heart Association (AHA) has advised persons with cardiovascular disease to consume omega-3s to prevent cardiovascular incidents, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.

    According to research, salmon and other seafood that contain omega-3 fatty acids are perfect for the heart. They help reduce the risk of irregular cardiac rhythms – plus the development of fatty deposits that clog arteries.

    If you are looking for a delicious and nutritious salmon recipe for your parents’ dinner, check out these recipes:


    Dark Chocolate

    Chocolate is a heart-healthy treat when it is not laden with sugar and saturated fat.

    Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which help prevent disease, fight inflammation, and shield our cells from the harm that free radicals may do.

    According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the “bad cholesterol” that contributes to clogged arteries was dramatically reduced when combining raw almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into a diet.

    Scripps demonstrates that dark chocolate is beneficial for heart health because:

    • It makes blood platelets less clot-forming and sticky, which helps prevent heart disease incidents.
    • It processes nitric oxide, regulating blood flow in the body.
    • It reduces insulin resistance, lowering the risks of developing diabetes.
    • It lessens persistent inflammation, which can result in heart disease.


    A typical bar of dark chocolate has 24 grams of sugar and 600 calories. The calories in milk chocolate are approximately the same, but the sugar content is twice as much. Therefore, be careful to get your seniors the proper kind of chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa solids and less sugar.



    12Oaks-Blender Top View Whips Berries Raspberry Blueberries Preparation Smoothie-ss-5. Berries

    Berries, rich in soluble fiber, can help decrease cholesterol and slow glucose intake, assisting our parents in controlling blood sugar levels. In addition, blueberries contain vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and manganese, which all appear to decrease blood pressure and improve age-related cognitive decline.

    A study shows strawberries have strong antioxidant properties and can help lower cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and inflammation. Meanwhile, another study proved that black raspberry had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, lowering cholesterol in people who are obese or have metabolic syndrome.

    Berries make a fantastic snack or dessert for your senior citizens. Or, they might enjoy berries for breakfast topped with cheese, some chopped nuts, and plain Greek yogurt. Some people even add berries to their summer salads.


    Leafy green vegetables

    12Oaks-A variety of herbs, salad and green onions on a wooden background-ss-6.Leafy green vegetables

    Leafy greens are abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries, promote proper blood clotting and improve cardiovascular health.

    A study supports the recommendation to eat sufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. They look into the relationship between eating fruit, vegetables, and olive oil and the prevalence of coronary heart disease in many women. The results show that a high diet of leafy green vegetables was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

    The greatest leafy green vegetables for seniors’ heart health include:

    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Collard greens
    • Parsley
    • Lettuce
    • Cabbage


    What Does Nutrition Look Like at 12 Oaks?

    12 Oaks managed Senior Communities provide comfort for your elderly family members with a devoted team and chef-designed nutritional meals. We stay updated on the latest dietary facts, heart-healthy recipes, and food ideas. Your family is our top concern. In our communities, we go above and beyond to personalize daily living to each individual’s requirements.


    If you have questions about heart-healthy food ideas for your seniors or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

    At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

    Don’t hesitate to contact us for questions or to schedule a personalized tour. 


    Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.


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    If you're interested in learning more about 12 Oaks Senior Living, please call 214-871-2155 or click here to schedule a personalized tour.