Each season brings different eating choices. Winter menus usually consist of hearty stews and soups to warm you up. As the season transitions into spring, new flavors are waiting to tickle your taste buds. A weekly visit to the grocery store or farmer’s market reveals the refreshing foods to break up winter’s monotony. Some spring veggies to look for include asparagus, new potatoes, and salad greens. Fruits such as cherries and apricots will make their debut as well.
There are a few foods that can give the aged an extra boost to their health. Called superfoods, they are packed full of nutrients every senior should get. The team at Wesley Enhanced Living understands the unique nutritional needs of the elderly. The residents in our continuing care retirement community (CCRC) reap the benefits of a balanced diet, including superfoods.
Keep Your Seniors Healthy with these Spring Superfoods
Give your elderly loved one the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active. Add these nutrient-rich vegetables to their daily diet:
- Artichokes: Actually, the bud of the purple thistle flower, this prickly veggie is full of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. It is also antioxidant-rich which can help stave off cancer.
- Leeks: A part of the allium family, leeks are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. They offer protection for your heart, are high in antioxidants, give you energy, and support your brain functions.
- Asparagus: This is a nutritionally well-balanced veggie full of folic acid, potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C. Enjoy this food raw or lightly roasted.
- Watercress: Do you like cabbage or mustard greens? You might enjoy watercress. This crisp gem is stuffed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is also high in iron and calcium.
- Green Peas: A sweet treat in your salad or as a side veggie, peas are packed full of protein and fiber but low in calories.
A Superfood Packed Recipe from Your Friends at Wesley Enhanced Living
Spring is an excellent time of year to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, as many come into season this time of year. The recipe below combines lean chicken (an excellent source of protein) with a fresh, colorful, unique, and healthy salad. Very little preparation is required for this dish, and the thinly pounded chicken breasts cook very quickly. This is a healthy, balanced, and simple meal you can throw together in 30 minutes or less!
Chicken Scaloppini with a Sugar Snap Pea, Asparagus, and Lemon Salad
- 3 cups trimmed/cleaned sugar snap peas (about 1 pound)
- 2 cups (1 inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 lemon wedges
(yields 6 servings; each includes 1 chicken breast, approx. 1 cup salad mixture, and 1 lemon wedge)
How to Make it:
- Gently steam peas and asparagus, covered, for about 4 minutes until tender but still crisp. Rinse in cold water, then drain well and chill.
- Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to ¼ inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken evenly with ½ teaspoon of the salt, and black pepper.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add breasts to the pan (be careful not to overcrowd the pan, do this in batches) and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through (temp. 165 degrees F). Remove chicken from pan when done and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the broth and wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Scrape the pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced (for about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter.
- Combine remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, mint, oil, rind, and lemon juice, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle this over the salad mixture, tossing gently to coat.
- Plate the chicken and drizzle with the pan sauce, garnishing with a lemon wedge.
Enjoy spring’s bounty and good health. At Wesley Enhanced Living, we can help you and your loved ones eat healthy. Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations. Our staff will be glad to discuss your needs, give your family a tour, and inform you of our comprehensive services. Watch this video to find out why our seniors call Wesley Enhanced Living home.
We provide high-quality continuing care for seniors. Please visit our communities to learn more or click here to request more information today.