Approximately 400,000 adults 60 years of age and older have celiac disease, a condition characterized by an inability to process gluten because of damage that’s done to the inner lining of the small intestine during digestion. Fortunately, there are some healthy gluten-free foods that can also reduce digestive issues for seniors.
Gluten-Free Grains and Starches
Wheat, barely, baked breads, pasta, and rye are some of the grains and starches that are automatically out. However, seniors can enjoy certain gluten-free grains and starches while also benefiting from the dietary fiber and essential B vitamins in such foods. Naturally gluten-free options include:
• Beans (canned or dried and unseasoned)
• Corn (all forms)
Fresh and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
All fresh and frozen veggies and fruits are gluten-free options providing an assortment of health benefits for seniors, including reducing the risk of heart disease, naturally controlling blood sugar, and offering protection against some forms of cancer. However, Oklahoma elder care professionals note that only natural fruit juices are completely gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Dairy Foods
Dairy products containing less than 20 parts per million gluten are considered safe for seniors with an aversion to gluten. Milk, margarine, butter, plain yogurt, and real cheese are healthy gluten-free options seniors can enjoy while also getting essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and protein.
Unmarinated and unseasoned meats are gluten-free and can be safely enjoyed by seniors on such a diet, although gluten-free gravy can provide added flavor. Especially healthy gluten-free meat selections include:
If your senior loved one’s favorite spices have no ingredients listed, it’s the pure spice and it’s gluten-free. Sage, rosemary, turmeric, and ginger are just some of the spices that can help seniors with everything from memory retention to digestion.
There are gluten-free variations of foods often considered off-limits, including cereals, oats, and soups and sauces. If you’re doing the shopping with your senior loved one, look beyond a “gluten-free” label and check the ingredients to confirm that it’s something your senior loved one can safely enjoy.
If your senior loved one could use help grocery shopping or preparing nutritious meals that align with his or her dietary needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced caregivers can assist your loved one with everyday activities and help him or her maintain optimal health. To learn more about our care services, including hourly, live-in, dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Oklahoma families trust, give us a call at 405-285-4191 and schedule a free in-home consultation.