By Eleanor Sevigny
Published September 30, 2021 in The Burg
Nina Struss is the Hyvee Dietitian for the Galesburg area. Struss received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Western Illinois University.
Struss has worked in the Milan Hy-Vee since 2012. Recently Struss expanded to work in the Galesburg area, as well, by offering virtual services to customers. Struss took some time to answer a few questions about the services she offers.
Question: What is the best way for a Galesburg resident to reach you if they want to make an appointment?
Struss: Visit this link https://www.hy-vee.com/stores/dietitian/default.aspx?s=104 which will take customers to my landing page at Hy-Vee. I highly recommend customers take advantage of our Free Discovery Session where I can help a customer determine what service is the best option based on their health and wellness goals.
Question: What does a dietitian do?
Struss: Hy-Vee Dietitians are nutrition experts! We are available to help educate our customers on the basics of healthy nutrition habits, as well as provide specialized education on health conditions like diabetes, heart health and food allergies – just to name a few. We can offer assistance in the grocery aisles, virtually, one-on-one and through classes.
Question: What services do you offer to local residents?
Struss: We offer cooking classes, nutrition tours, one-on-one counseling, meal planning assistance, and so much more!
Question: Should you wait for a doctor's referral before seeing a dietitian?
Struss: Not at all! We do not require a doctor’s referral for a Free Discovery Session with a Hy-Vee dietitian. After meeting with customers, we can determine if that will be a requirement based on the selected services.
Question: Why should a senior citizen schedule an appointment with a dietitian?
Struss: Registered dietitians can provide great insight into improving a person’s health and well-being at any stage of life. Those who are older may experience chronic health conditions or symptoms of aging that can often be managed through simple diet and lifestyle changes. Using a registered dietitian as the health expert can help to provide accurate and reliable nutrition guidelines that are also practical and easy.
Question: What is the main nutritional need for seniors?
Struss: With aging we often find focusing on nutrients that help to support bone health to be very important. I also recommend continuing with a varied diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables – which may be an issue for some seniors who might have chewing problems or
loss of taste.
Question: How can seniors change their diet to solve this nutritional need?
Struss: Focusing on foods that are high in nutrients to support bone health – like foods rich in vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium, would be extremely beneficial for senior citizens. Discussing with a dietitian ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables, while also improving overall food quality, would also be a goal.
Question: What can seniors include in their diet to support their immune system?
Struss: Foods rich in vitamin D like salmon, tuna, and mushrooms are great to include for a healthy immune system. Getting outside in the sun can also help improve vitamin D status. I also recommend focusing on foods that are rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains for a healthy digestive system. A huge portion of our immune system is located in the gut, so including healthy foods rich in fiber and probiotic foods like cultured dairy is very beneficial for a healthy immune system.
Question: What is something you would like to say to the Galesburg community?
Struss: Please feel free to reach out with any nutrition concerns or questions – I would be happy to help!