Including plenty of vegetables in a senior’s diet is important for optimal health. However, some vegetables may be even healthier than others. Kale and onions may not seem like the obvious choices, but they contain a wealth of nutrients that can boost your elderly loved one’s health.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of encouragement when your loved one is trying to practice healthier habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Home care 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.
Kale has been shown to:
- Reduce the risk of age-related eye disease
- Ease arthritic knee pain
- Protect against heart disease and stroke
- Ward off osteoporosis
- Reduce cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
Kale is loaded with antioxidants. Protectors against cellular damage, these compounds are abundant in kale’s frilly leaves.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants the eyes can benefit from. According to the American Optometric Association, eating kale deters cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cataracts are protein clumps that cloud the lens and prevent light from entering the eye. AMD causes degradation of the retina, tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into nerve messages. Both of these chronic eye diseases can cause vision loss in people over 65. If your loved one already has cataracts or AMD, the National Eye Institute claims lutein and zeaxanthin boost vision even if these eye conditions already exist. Since the body can’t manufacture these antioxidants, it’s vital to consume them in food.
If your loved one experiences knee pain, lutein and zeaxanthin can also relieve knee inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, and the vitamin K in kale wards off osteoporosis. Lutein prevents thickening of coronary arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Kale’s fiber also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Chopping raw kale releases its antioxidants, and light steaming preserves its nutrients.
Family caregivers need to maintain healthy lifestyles too, which involves taking time to attend to their own wellbeing. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Montgomery, AL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Onions are known to:
- Diminish arthritic pain
- Reduce diabetes risk
- Decrease the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes
- Lower cholesterol
- Prevent osteoporosis
Onions are high in flavonoids, plant pigments with antioxidant properties. The chromium in onions regulates blood sugar, and the sulfur triggers insulin production. A 2010 study in Environmental Health Insights showed diabetic subjects had lower glucose levels over a four-hour period after eating red onions.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s cardiovascular health, the sulfur in onions is a natural blood thinner, preventing clot formation. According to a 2002 study in Thrombosis Research, onions lower blood pressure. Quercetin prevents the arterial hardening that leads to heart attacks and strokes, and eating raw onions can lower cholesterol.
Roughly 35 percent of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis of the spine, hip, and forearm. However, eating onions can increase bone density. A 2009 study in Menopause found daily onion consumption lowers the risk of hip fracture by 20 percent.
Although all types of onions are beneficial for seniors, shallots and yellow onions contain the most flavonoids, and red onions are rich in quercetin, which is especially potent because it can reduce arthritic inflammation. Flavonoids are most concentrated in the outer layers of onions. After removing the skin, peel off as little of the fleshy leaves as possible.
A professional caregiver can be a terrific source of support for a senior who needs a hand with planning and preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Montgomery Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (334) 593-3988.