Senior Nutrition: July 16 is Fresh Spinach Day and that’s a day you and your senior might want to start celebrating a lot more often than just once a year.
Spinach has a ton of benefits, especially for aging family members. Here are just a few of the ways spinach improves your senior’s overall health and senior nutrition.
Lutein is a common recommendation for people who want healthier eyes, and spinach has plenty of lutein to offer. Spinach is also rich in zeaxanthin, which is another compound that improves eye health. The antioxidants in spinach may also help your elderly family member to avoid cataracts and other eye diseases.
Better Brain Health
But lutein helps more than just your senior’s eyes. It’s also been shown to help with cognitive health, which is especially important if your elderly family member is worried about memory and losing cognitive skills. Eating spinach more often along with other foods that are high in lutein can help to preserve her brain function.
Lower Blood Pressure
Because spinach is so full of nutritional value, including potassium, it’s great for heart health. That includes contributing to lower blood pressure. Your senior can thank the potassium in spinach for that benefit. Spinach is also rich in other minerals that contribute to heart health, like nitrates and quercetin.
Better Oxygen Levels
When you think about foods high in iron, you might think about red meat, but spinach also contains plenty of iron. This is essential for lung health and for improving oxygen levels in your senior’s blood stream. That’s because iron is essential in forming hemoglobin, which is responsible for shuttling oxygen throughout the body.
Senior Nutrition: Healthier Skin and Bones
Healthier bones and skin are probably a high priority for your senior. Vitamins A and K are crucial in both bone and skin health, and spinach is rich in both vital nutrients. Vitamin K is also essential for processing and using vitamin D, another nutrient that’s essential for healthy bones and skin. Vitamin A, in particular, helps skin to maintain hydration, and it is also excellent for eye health.
The best part about spinach is that if your senior loves eating it, there are a variety of ways she can add more into her diet. Between salads, using it in recipes, and tossing it in smoothies, she can get plenty of spinach regularly. Home care providers can make adding more spinach to your senior’s diet even easier, as well as offering companionship and great senior nutrition.