Your body needs a variety of essential vitamins and minerals to function properly — and your nutritional needs change as you age. Each vital nutrient supports different bodily functions that help you stay healthy at different stages of life.
Planning menus with the correct suggested daily amounts of vitamins and minerals may seem daunting, but it shouldn’t be difficult! You can get many essential nutrients by putting together a delicious, hearty and healthy pot of soup. Keep your dietary guidelines in mind and try these healthy soup recipes to get the nutrients you need.
Essential vitamins and minerals for older adults
Dietary needs change with age, and it’s never too late to make healthy food and drink choices. The health experts recommend eating nutritious foods from each of the major food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins, dairy, and oils) and staying within the daily recommended calorie limits.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in your body, strengthens teeth and bones. Bone mass declines with age – putting older adults at higher risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Dairy products like skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and dark leafy greens like kale are good sources of daily calcium!
In addition, a high sodium diet can raise your blood pressure, what is an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Adults over the age of 51 should not take more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day or 1,500 mg per day if they currently have hypertension or pre-hypertension.
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Try these hearty soups that provide just what your body needs to start a healthier diet!
This flavorful chicken stock vegetable soup has a huge variety of vitamin-rich vegetables – broccoli and sweet red peppers for vitamin C, white potatoes for vitamins B1, B3, B6, potassium and magnesium, carrots for vitamin A and more!
Pumpkin soup is a favorite treat that tastes good all year round. This recipe has a fun ingredient twist: apples! The surprise fruit adds fiber, tons of vitamins, and potassium to the jar. The pumpkin at the core is a great source of fiber for gut health and also contains multiple vitamins as well as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Carrots and onions round out the vegetables with a vegetable stock and coconut milk base.
This vegetable soup variety is packed with nutrients. Parsnips bring vitamins A, C, K, and folate to your bowl, along with carrots for vitamins A, E, and K. Mushrooms add vitamin D, biotin, niacin, and riboflavin, and spinach has B vitamins! A tablespoon of olive oil adds heart-healthy fat with garlic, basil, thyme and black pepper to amp up the flavor.
Pasta e Fagioli means “pasta and beans,” and this recipe offers a “light” version of the beloved Italian all-in-one meal. Lean ground turkey replaces ground beef as a great protein source, with vitamin A, E and K packed carrots and antioxidant-rich tomatoes with folate and potassium. Shredded cabbage adds fiber and folate, while kidney beans (which should always be cooked properly) provide extra protein and vitamins. Carbohydrate-rich pasta completes the dish as an energy booster!
kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables, and it’s paired with high-protein chicken in this hearty soup. A single cup of kale provides an abundance of vitamins A, K and C. It also contains B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and more. The hearty soup also includes potatoes, onions, and great northern beans with no salt.
These are just a few delicious options to get you started! Add a hearty soup to your day and you’ll be adding some of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.