Fourth of July usually means large gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the holiday with food and fireworks. If your July 4th celebration will include grandparents this year, don’t forget to consider any special dietary needs for seniors.
One of the most troubling, and little understood, considerations when planning a senior’s diet is making certain that whatever food and beverages they select won’t cause harmful interactions with the medications they are prescribed. Since many seniors are on multiple daily medications, chefs, caretakers and family need to be vigilant about ingredients contained in the meals older Americans are consuming.
When looking for holiday recipes, a few items to avoid for seniors are; grapefruit juice and other citrus fruits, caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in Vitamin K, such as, dark green leafy vegetables. Most of us love grapefruit juice but it can block the action of intestinal enzymes that break down certain drugs such as cholesterol –lowering ones. As an alternative to citrus, strawberries are colorful and flavorful with a hint of citrus that also provides the vitamin C and fiber that can be found in grapefruit. While dark green leafy vegetables are really healthful and make a great summer salad they also contain high levels of Vitamin K – a vitamin that boosts the blood’s ability to clot. These should best be avoided by seniors who are at risk of stroke and who have been prescribed blood thinners such as Coumadin.
Red, White, and Blue sundaes with Cookie Spoons! J
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