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How to Incorporate Soy into Your Elderly Loved One’s Diet

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Many studies have shown the numerous health benefits of soy. A major staple of vegetarian and vegan diets, the soybean can be a healthful choice even if your senior loved one is a staunch omnivore. Oakville elderly care experts have a few suggestions for how you can include this versatile vegetable in your loved one’s diet.

Add Edamame to a Salad

If your loved one enjoys salad with lunch or dinner, adding edamame, the unripe version of soybeans, can add all of the health benefits of soy along with more flavor and texture. A serving of edamame has 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, and provides 20 percent of the recommended allowance of vitamin K each day. To serve, simply microwave the edamame pods with water until softened, then gently pop each bean out of the pod and rinse.

Try a Soy Nut Butter and Honey Sandwich

Your loved one will likely enjoy this healthy and mature twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly. Spread soy nut butter on whole grain bread and top with a drizzle of organic honey for a lunch full of fiber and protein. With fewer calories and less saturated fat than peanut butter, soy nut butter is a great option if your loved one is on a low-fat diet due to cardiovascular problems. Each serving contains 7 grams of protein and 6 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium.

Make a Tofu Stir-Fry

Tofu acts as a meat substitute that provides protein, fiber, and calcium. Additionally, some studies show the phytoestrogens found in tofu can neutralize the effects of estrogen that cause bone loss and breast cancer. To use it in a stir-fry for your loved one, select a firm tofu and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Sauté fresh vegetables in a little olive oil, stir in the tofu, toss with a healthy stir-fry sauce, and serve over rice. Tofu easily takes on the flavor of sauces and seasonings that are added to it, keeping it flavorful.

Substitute Soy Milk for Cow’s Milk in Cereal

Your loved one can start his or her day off right with a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with soy milk instead of cow’s milk. With fewer calories and less saturated fat, soy milk can prevent your loved one from developing cardiovascular disease. A study done by the Prevention Research Center at Stanford University found people with high cholesterol who drank soy milk for 6 weeks were able to lower their cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 5 percent. Encourage your loved one to substitute soy milk in his or her cereal or coffee for the heart healthy benefits.

Soy is one of the main sources of protein for elders in Okinawa, Japan, where people have been known to live longer and healthier lives than anywhere else. At Home Care Assistance, we have created a program called the Balanced Care Method (BCM) that is based on studies related to the Okinawa elders. In addition to a healthy diet, BCM also focuses on lifestyle factors related to physical activity, socialization, and cognitive stimulation. BCM comes free of charge with all of our care plans, including the comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Oakville families trust. For more information on BCM and our elder care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200.