Anyone who pays attention to recent trends in health and nutrition has undoubtedly noticed an emphasis on whole foods and superfoods. The term “superfoods” can be confusing to some, since it suggests certain foods are a magic bullet for restoring health and reversing disease. While no single food can do that, certain foods are prized for their multiple health benefits. Seniors who wish to boost their health through holistic nutrition have as much to gain as anyone else. In fact, seniors can expect to feel better and reduce their risk of chronic health conditions by enjoying the following superfoods on a regular basis.
Seniors with high cholesterol are advised to consume soy products such as soy milk, tofu, and edamame (fresh soybeans), as recent studies have shown the plant sterols in these foods are as effective as statin drugs for lowering cholesterol. An added benefit for older women is that the phytoestrogens in soy products control hormone fluctuations during and after menopause.
Sometimes seniors need motivation to eat healthier, and professional caregivers can help. Home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Before the advent of processed foods, no one had ever heard of diverticulitis. This and other gastrointestinal problems, including bowel obstructions and colon cancer, are all too common among seniors whose diets are high in fatty meats and processed foods and low in fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
In addition, refined grains such as white rice and pasta are metabolized like sugars, causing blood sugar spikes and increasing the risk of diabetes—or complications among those with diabetes—later in life. Fortunately, addressing or lowering the risk of these conditions can be as simple as choosing whole-grain bread for sandwiches and brown rice instead of white.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which strengthen the immune system against pathogens as well as inflammatory processes that cause damage to soft tissues in joints and other parts of the body over time. Since blueberries are also high in potassium, they can provide an additional benefit to seniors who have difficulty keeping sodium and other electrolytes in check.
If your busy schedule can’t accommodate extra attention to your loved one’s diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Mississauga in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
In addition to providing fiber and antioxidants as well as reducing cholesterol, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts all contain glucosinolates, which are known to inhibit cancer cell growth. Red cabbage in particular is also said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Tomatoes add potassium and fiber to the diet, and they also contain vitamin C and lycopene, which fortify the immune system and prevent tumor growth. The lutein present in tomatoes also protects the eyes from free radical damage and increases skin elasticity and hydration.
Tomatoes need not be consumed fresh to reap their nutritional benefits. The canning process actually concentrates the nutrients, so seniors can benefit just as much from a serving of tomato sauce from a jar as from a freshly picked tomato.
While it’s true that aging is a part of life, seniors don’t need to resign themselves to being old and infirm. By regularly eating nutrient-dense foods and steering clear of refined sugar and processed foods, seniors can successfully ward off diseases typically associated with aging and live full, active lives.
Encourage your loved one to switch to healthy superfoods, and help him or her prepare nutritious meals. 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. Mississauga seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call us at 905-337-1200 to create a customized in-home care plan.