When it comes to vegetables, kale seems to be popular at the moment. The leafy superfood is used in everything from salads to smoothies. However, it is not the only vegetable to offer significant health benefits for seniors. If you want to increase the nutritional value of your loved one’s diet, consider these nutrient-packed but often underrated veggies.
1. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are rich in glucosinolates, which are powerful anti-carcinogenic compounds. These compounds can also block enzymes that destabilize the DNA of white blood cells. Sinigrin, a major glucosinolate, triggers a self-destruct response in cancer cells. Brussels sprouts can also alleviate the symptoms of various medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Colorado Springs, Colorado, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Onions contain thiosulfinates and quercetin, which are natural blood thinners and vessel dilators that can reduce the risk of heart diseases. They also provide vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, calcium, and iron, which can boost the immune system and promote bone health. Onions may also kill H. pylori bacteria, which are a common cause of stomach ulcers.
The calcium, vitamin B6, fiber, and other compounds in turnips support healthy liver and immune system functions. The roots of turnips can easily be roasted or boiled and added to soups or casseroles. You can also use the greens in a stir-fry or to garnish a sandwich.
If you’re unsure about what to cook for your aging loved one or are short on time, consider hiring a dedicated caregiver. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Colorado Springs, CO, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
The highly nutritious but underused beet contains folate, potassium, and fiber that can regulate blood pressure. Beets are also rich in antioxidants that can combat cancer and inflammation. If your loved one does not like roasted or pickled beets, consider adding some raw beets to a fruit smoothie. The added color will be visually appealing, and the flavor will be undetectable when combined with the sweetness of the fruit.
Cauliflower is packed with plenty of nutrition. The vitamins and minerals in cauliflower can boost the immune system, and the fiber promotes gastrointestinal health. Cauliflower can be steamed, roasted, or even mashed and incorporated as a filling or thickener into other dishes.
Although it may not be healthy when fried and smothered in bread crumbs and cheese, eggplant has plenty of nutritional value. Its high fiber content promotes satiety and gastrointestinal health. Antioxidants and bioflavonoids present in eggplant can also help your loved one maintain a healthy blood pressure.
7. Bell Peppers
Colorful, crunchy, and full of flavor, bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for tissue growth and repair, and calcium absorption for strong teeth and bones. The vitamin B6 in bell peppers promotes cognitive health by enabling communication between brain cells. Bell peppers also contain minerals such as manganese, which may prevent osteoporosis.
Mushrooms are high in vitamin D and long-chain polysaccharides that provide immune system support. A study conducted in China between 2004 and 2005 and published in the International Journal of Cancer found women who regularly consumed mushrooms and green tea reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 64 percent. Mushrooms may also decrease the risk of prostate, stomach, and colon cancer.
These highly nutritious vegetables are sure to brighten up your senior loved one’s day and help him or her remain healthy. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Colorado Springs seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn more about our elderly care services, call (719) 822-1229 and speak with one of our qualified Care Managers.