Fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy diet for seniors, but protein is equally important for ensuring mental and physical health. Whether they prefer meats or legumes, seniors must be sure their food patterns are replete with this nutrient.
One option that packs a protein punch is chicken, which is chock full of healthy benefits for older adults. Seniors should search for recipes with this meat, as it not only leads to a healthy lifestyle, but also blends well with other food choices.
Chicken offers benefits for seniors
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, chicken is an excellent source of protein, which has been linked to greatly improved cardiovascular health and decreased risk for sudden death. Scientists have found that higher levels of this type of meat can reduce a person's chances for having heart issues, especially if they replace red meat with chicken.
Active Beat reported that chicken is also a natural anti-depressant, meaning that seniors can experience a cognitive boost from this food. The source noted that people who eat high amounts of chicken may have higher serotonin levels, which may improve mood, decrease stress and increase comfort.
Be the Coq of the walk with this recipe
There are a number of recipes that use chicken as the primary ingredient, but consider cooking a pot of Coq au Vin. The French dish, which translates to "Rooster with Wine," features a delicious chicken cooked with red wine, pork fat and mushrooms. Be sure to serve with your favorite vegetables, whether you prefer the saltiness of seasoned green beans or the richness of mashed potatoes.
- 1 (3-4 pound) chicken
- 1/2 bottle red wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 pound mushrooms
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery
- salt, pepper
Start by cutting the chicken into eight different pieces. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, then line a large pot with olive oil. Lay the pieces of chicken in the pot, sprinkle both sides with spices and allow them to brown for 5 minutes on each side until the chicken is done. Next, add the onion, carrot, celery, and salt and pepper to the pan, then place it back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, pour in the wine and chicken stock, allowing the mixture to simmer before covering it for 30 to 40 minutes.
After the chicken is done, stir in half of the butter and all of the flour. In a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms using the remaining butter, then add them to the pot. Allow the plate to cook for an additional 10 minutes, then serve with cooked veggies.