Senior adults are always searching for ways to stay young and healthy, but they may be overlooking one of the easiest solutions of all: drinking common beverages. The health benefits of everyday drinks might surprise you, plus they could already be in your pantry or fridge. Make drinking these ten common beverages a part of your regular diet, and drink to your youth–and health.
Dehydration can cause serious health problems for senior adults, which is why drinking water, the best hydrator around, is so important. Water also increases energy levels, promotes weight loss, improves immunity, and aids in the digestion process. The general rule of thumb for seniors is to drink six to eight cups a day. Add a squeeze of nutrient-rich lemon, and you’ll up the health benefits of this convenient, everyday drink.
Soup is a healthy comfort food that’s popular with senior adults. But just sipping on soup broth, especially bone broth, can boost well-being. Rich in protein and minerals, bone broth is a great for detoxifying the body, plus it’s simple to make. Boil chicken or beef bones in water with vinegar for several hours. Toss in chopped veggies and fresh herbs for added nutrition and flavor.
Studies have shown that drinking wine has heart and disease-fighting benefits that make it a healthy beverage for seniors. The catch? Drink wine in moderation–no more than one 5-ounce glass a day for women and two per day for men. While red wine may have a nutritional edge over white due to powerful antioxidants found in the grape skins, white wine promotes improved lung function.
Like wine, beer contains antioxidants that make it a healthful drink, but not all beer is the same. The more hops–where you’ll find xanthohumol, a flavonoid that protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative conditions–the better. Stick to a glass or two a day, and watch the ABV level. Today’s beer, especially craft beer that’s high in hops, can be potent.
Packed with vitamin C, folate, and magnesium, orange juice is a common superfood that’s good for any age, including older adults. Seniors will benefit from the positive effects orange juice has on blood pressure and blood vessel function, not to mention its role in boosting immunity. For the best OJ, go for fresh-squeezed; it contains less sugar than store brands and some of the pulpy fiber.
Seniors can do a number of things to help stave off osteoporosis, including getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Milk has both, which make it a no-brainer to consume. All varieties of milk pack a punch–even many dairy-free milks. If you don’t like drinking a glass of milk, try pouring it on cold cereal or oatmeal, adding it to soup, or blending it with fruit in a smoothie.
Recent studies found that people who drink several cups of coffee daily had greater longevity than non-coffee drinkers. One reason could be the brain-protective and anti-inflammatory properties present in coffee. Drinking coffee also encourages socializing, a healthy activity for senior adults. Just steer clear of sugary java drinks that decrease the health benefits of coffee.
There’s nothing more soothing than a cup of hot tea, and for seniors, tea provides antioxidants that help ward off disease along with a calming experience that’s good for the heart and mind. Black and green teas contain the most nutrients, but most any tea is healthful. For the caffeine-sensitive, try herbal teas, many of which have sleep-aid ingredients, like chamomile and lemongrass.
Cocoa contains polyphenols, flavonoid antioxidants that improve heart health and protect the body against oxidative stress. Drinking a cup of hot cocoa does more than benefit you physically, though; it’s been shown to sharpen memory and lift mood, too. Swap the less healthy Dutch-processed variety for naturally unprocessed cocoa; then heat (don’t boil) with milk, and go light on the sugar.
Cranberry juice has long been used to treat bladder infections, a common occurrence in senior adults. But cranberry juice is also loaded with anthocyanins, the disease-fighting antioxidants found in deeply colored fruits and vegetables. Choose 100 percent cranberry juice over the sugar-laden cranberry juice cocktail for the purest form of this powerhouse beverage.
One of the easiest ways to stay healthy in the senior years could be right in your kitchen. Enjoy sipping away your worries and ailments with these ten common beverages.