Research has proven time and time again that when it comes to adding veggies to every meal, seniors beat their youthful counterparts hands down. They are simply better than young people when it comes to making servings of fruits and vegetables as part of their routine diet.
But how in the first place should you ensure an aging loved one consumes an adequate amount of veggies? Which nutrients should you be on the lookout for and why? We will explain all here so please read on to learn more.
The Right amount of Fiber
Fiber plays a key role when it comes to digestion. It guarantees proper digestive health and it also prevents constipation. It is however important to note that contrary to popular belief, fiber is not just found in whole grains. Vegetables such as kale are rich in fiber. One easy way to identify fiber rich vegetable is to look at the color of your desired vegetable.
As most nutrition experts will tell you the darker the color of your vegetable, the higher the fiber content. Carrots, beet and broccoli are all good examples of vegetables with high fiber content. Artichokes and collard greens are also rich in fiber content.
Look for Veggies with Protein
Muscle mass always decreases with age. This can only mean one thing. You have to consume enough body building foods to keep the muscle loss at bay. That is where proteins come in. Young adults need enough protein so as to ward off high cholesterol and remain fit. It is the same for seniors.
Seniors simply need proteins for their muscle strength. Remember when it comes to seniors, conditions like atrophied muscles can easily lead to falls as well as loss of mobility. This means seniors actually need more proteins than young people. Mung bean sprouts, asparagus and even broccoli are all rich in proteins. Alternatives include pumpkin seeds, peas and lentils.
Go for Vegetables that are rich in Vitamin B12
You may not know it but vitamin B12 deficiency affects more than 15% of adults over the age of 60. You cannot blame caregivers or the seniors themselves either. The reason is entirely medical. The digestive system’s ability to quickly absorb vitamin B12 tends to decrease with age. This is bad news for the central nervous system as well as the blood.
Keep in mind though that even young people are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency. For the elderly though, the effects have a more pronounced effect. Problems range from poor balance, memory loss, anemia, numbness and tingling.
Most sea vegetables, tossa jute, water shield and even the mung bean sprouts mentioned above are all examples of vegetables that are rich in vitamin B12.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids play a key role as far as maintaining a heart health is concerned. What most people do not realize though is that fatty acids are also vital for supporting brain health. Reduced immune function, depression and memory loss are good examples of conditions that occur as a result of omega 3 fatty acids deficiency.
To ensure your senior loved one consumes enough omega three fatty acids vegetables, consider adding seaweed, algae, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds in his or her meals. You can easily incorporate all these options to salad, cereal or oatmeal.
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Looking after a senior loved one can be very challenging for you especially if you have your own family to take care of. With a lot of families both parents work so time to take care of an elderly loved one is limited.
We offer a comprehensive range of in home care services. Our professionally trained caregivers know what it takes to provide the very best care. Please contact us here so that we can have a no obligation discussion about how we can help you and your loved one.