The all-star of healthy foods, vegetables, have many of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients that seniors need to eat every day to enjoy their golden years with verve and vitality. However, some vegetables are better for senior health than others. To help start your (or your loved one’s) healthy eating spree, the Grand Rapids senior care experts at Home Care Assistance have listed 10 of the most highly recommended vegetables for older adults.
- Kale. This vegetable has been in the media spotlight recently, gaining popularity among health fanatics and restaurateurs nationwide. Kale is loaded with nutrients, including vitamin K, which can help prevent heart attacks caused by hardening of the arteries.
- Carrots. The beta carotene antioxidant in carrots not only promotes good eye health but helps protect against skin damage caused by the sun. With options to eat this vegetable raw, boiled or grilled, it can be added to a variety of cold and warm meals.
- Beets. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in beets offer protection against heart disease and help fight colon cancer too.
- Spinach. Popeye’s veggie of choice is rich in vitamin A and C, iron, folate and magnesium. Studies have found that consuming spinach on a regular basis can also help in fighting cancer.
- Broccoli. Cooked broccoli offers more vitamin C than an orange which is an essential vitamin for seniors and older adults. Its health benefits include a lower risk of developing cataracts or suffering a stroke.
- Leaf Lettuce. Dark leafy greens are high in vitamin A, which helps contribute to healthy eyes and skin. The darker the leaf, the more nutrients it contains. Seniors and their Grand Rapids caregivers can prepare salads that include dark leafy greens, lean proteins and other fruits and vegetables for depth of flavor.
- Sweet Potatoes. With vitamin A for eye health and vitamin C to boost the immune system, sweet potatoes are great source of fiber too. Also a more healthy alternative to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes can satisfy one’s cravings for starches and carbs at mealtime.
- Garlic. Garlic has long been associated with good heart health. Recent studies suggest that garlic helps to prevent platelets from building up and blocking arteries.
- Onions. A surprisingly good source of vitamin C, onions also have an antioxidant known as quercetin, which research indicates can help protect seniors from developing cataracts, heart disease and even cancer.
- Beans. Although the nutrients in beans vary according to the variety, all contain both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps balance glucose levels, regulate digestion and reduces the risk of developing diabetes. While beans are technically a fruit, we often use them as vegetables, which is why they’ve been included on this list!
Interested in other senior nutrition tips? Contact a Care Manager at Home Care Assistance today and learn how we promote optimal health for our clients. Along with flexible care schedules, we also provide dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke care for Grand Rapids seniors. Call 616-243-0835 for more information.