The spring season is a wonderful time to reestablish good habits, including a focus on healthy eating. Helping clients in the Heartland create nutritious meals and keep healthy snacks on-hand is one of the many ways Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers support those we serve.
While almonds and cashews frequently receive credit as a beneficial addition to senior diets, there’s another nut we’re nuts about – pecans! Since April is National Pecan Month, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional boost these tree nuts provide and a few easy ways to add them into your or your special senior’s diet.
A Nutritious Nut
Pecans provide seniors with a variety of benefits that help keep the body and mind in top condition. We explore a few ways they pack a wholesome punch below:
Improve Heart Health
Pecans possess a plethora of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help seniors maintain a strong ticker. In fact, studies have also shown that just one ounce of pecans per day can lower cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels, both of which are linked to heart health.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
Diabetes is an issue for many seniors and, while pecans are a carbohydrate, they also register low on the glycemic index. This means that they won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. In fact, as a source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they actually slow the digestion of carbohydrates, which delays glucose absorption and helps to regulate blood sugar.
Boost Brain Function
For a snack that improves the mind, look no further than the mighty pecan! This nut is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with less inflammation in the body and brain. In turn, they help alleviate brain fog and allow for clearer thinking.
Promote Strong Bones
Pecans are loaded with phosphorus and calcium, two minerals that are key to maintaining bone density. As we age, our risk of osteoporosis increases, but snacking on this nutritious nut can help seniors stay active and strong!
Dish Up A Diet Chalk Full Of Pecans!
There are plenty of ways to incorporate pecans into a balanced diet – and our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can’t wait to help you or your senior loved one cook up a delicious (and pecan-packed) meal! Looking for ideas? Try these!
- Supplement salads. Pecans add a satisfying crunch and a nice helping of good fats and proteins to a fresh spring salad.
- Make a pecan-filled energy bar. Homemade energy bars are easy to make and allow you or your special senior the flexibility to customize the ingredients to meet a range of dietary needs.
- Whip up some pecan butter. Nut butter is a popular alternative to traditional spreads and is a perfect addition to toast, muffins, and stir fry.
- Eat by the handful! Pecans are delicious all on their own too. Enjoy them as a healthy snack any time of the day!
See why we’re nuts about pecans?! Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is continually searching for ways to help our clients pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. Whether you or your family member could use an escort to the grocery store to stock up on pecans and other healthy snacks or a friend to help whip up a balanced meal, we’re always excited to serve our senior community!