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Nutrition consultant to The Tradition-Prestonwood Melinda Safir recently made mouths water with her descriptions of healthy and delicious foods.

What does a girl do for a living who has a family of doctors and loves to eat and cook?  Become a dietitian!  At least, that made sense to Melinda Safir, now Clinical Dietician at Texas Health Dallas-Presbyterian Hospital.  “Cooking has always been a family affair, and my ethnic background is all about food. So I changed my original plans from becoming a neurologist to a nutritionist instead, and I haven’t looked back!” said Melinda, whose niche is aging populations.

 

She recently made a presentation at the The Tradition-Prestonwood, where she made mouths water with her description of healthy foods.  References to fish rich in Omega 3s, whole-grain breads, salads composed of rainbow colors, and delicious nuts were made all the more appealing when she described their long-term health benefits.

 

 

Cooking has always been a family affair, and my ethnic background is all about food.”

 

 

Melinda first described healthy habits of United States centenarians, who are relaxed and flexible, have high cognition and skills, boast strong relationships and a sense of belonging, and eat healthier than most.

 

Nutrients, says Melinda, are the fuel of optimal health.  Below are some of her top picks:

 

• Nuts:  cholesterol free, protein rich, lowers stroke risk

Almonds - vitamin E and magnesium

Pecans – full of anti-oxidants

Walnuts – Omega 3s

 

• Fish:  rich in Omega 3s, low in fat, low in cholesterol

Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines

Wild fish

Lowest in mercury (eat tuna only twice a week!)

 

• Produce: high in magnesium for stronger bones, high in potassium for lower blood pressure, high in antioxidants for brain health and vision, fights inflammation

All berries

Leafy greens

Colorful varieties (eat a rainbow every day – seven servings of half-cup portions)

 

• All beans:  great for blood sugar control, heart healthy, fiber-rich and packed with antioxidants

 

• Extra virgin olive oil:  rich in healthy fats, free of trans fat, increases good cholesterol.

 

 

Have a purposeful diet, be active daily, exercise your mental health, minimize stress, maintain social support, and exercise 30 minutes a day.

 

 

Her final prescription for aging well:  Have a purposeful diet, be active daily, exercise your mental health, minimize stress, maintain social support, and exercise 30 minutes a day.

 

For those who think that the time has passed for them to change old eating habits, Melinda closed with one retort:  “It’s never too soon, and it’s not too late!”

 

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