What Types of Protein-Rich Foods Should the Elderly Consume?
You may have heard of low fat diets and low carb diets, but you’d probably have never heard of a low protein diet. That’s because protein is that important for the body. It ensures that everything in your body works optimally and is used to create enzymes, build and repair tissues, muscles, skin, bone, cartilage, etc.
Your body needs protein. Period.
However, as we age, the sources we get our protein from should change. The fact of the matter is that anything that walks, flies or swims and ends up on our plate is protein. This is animal protein that has most of the amino acids we need.
Unfortunately, animal protein is also high in saturated fat that can lead to heart disease. Seniors will also find it more difficult to digest meat because their gut function is more sluggish.
The secret to overcoming this problem is to switch to protein that’s derived from plants. There’s a common misconception that meat contains more proteins than vegetables. In fact, the opposite holds true.
A cup of broccoli contains more protein than an equivalent serving of meat. This applies to many other vegetables too. Let’s not forget that the stamina of a camel, the strength of an elephant, and the beauty of a horse are all sustained on a vegetarian diet. If it’s good for them, it’s good for us.
You may be wondering, “But what vegetables do I eat?”
Excellent question. The first thing you need to know is that when you’re getting your protein from plants, you need a wide variety to get all the different types of proteins your body requires.
Nuts are rich in protein, monounsaturated fat, calcium, magnesium, fiber, iron, zinc, selenium and even omega-3 fatty acids. What you need is a good mix of nuts. Here are some excellent nuts that you can consume: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios and pine nuts. As long as you’re eating these, you will have a lot of protein, vitamins and nutrients in your diet.
Seeds are great for your health too. Sunflower, pumpkin, flax and sesame seeds are rich in protein and other vitamins.
Vegetables are excellent sources of protein. Here are a few good ones: Artichokes, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, mushrooms, peas, spinach and many other vegetables are rich in phytonutrients that will help to ward off diseases.
If you dislike the taste of some vegetables, you can always juice them with some fruits so that the taste is masked. It’s much easier to gulp down a smoothie rather than chew on veggies you dislike.
At the end of the day, what really matters is that you get a wide variety of these nutritious foods in your diet. While meat is rich in protein, you’re better off sticking to the foods mentioned above.
The less saturated fat in your diet the better. Over and above that, the meat sold these days contain hormones and other substances that were injected into the animals to fatten them up. You’re better off getting your protein from the greens.