Cold and flu season is kicking into high gear. Washing hands often and avoiding others who are sick are good steps to take. Your parents should look into having others, such as elder care aides, run their errands for them. They also should make sure they’re eating a balanced diet.

Fruits and vegetables are often eaten in too little quantities. Per the CDC, only 10 percent of all adults meet the daily recommendation. That recommendation is that adults eat between one and a half to two cups of fruit each day and two and a half to three cups of vegetables. How well are your parents doing with that goal?

One reason vegetables are so beneficial is that many are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Antioxidants are especially important. The world is full of things that cause free radicals. Smoke, cigarettes, and sun are some of them. The body also produces them while turning food into energy or while exercising.

Antioxidants keep these free radicals from damaging cells. Many fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants like beta-carotene, lycopene, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. Here are some of the best.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers in colors like orange, red, and yellow contain plenty of vitamin C. They’re also rich in vitamin A, iron, and potassium. Your parents also get a good amount of fiber when they eat peppers.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are just three types of berries that are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries and strawberries have vitamin C and vitamin E. Raspberries are also high in vitamin C, but they also have vitamin A. They all have phenolic compounds that help with cell health.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of many cruciferous vegetables that are packed with vitamin C. Broccoli has calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc. It’s great eaten raw, but you also can eat it steamed or roasted if your parents prefer it cooked. Cruciferous vegetables have compounds that studies find can help lower the risk of certain cancers so keep them on hand.

Leafy Greens

Chard, kale, and spinach are just three of the leafy greens that are high in vitamin A and vitamin C. They’re also rich in vitamin K, folate, and calcium. Plus, they’re versatile and can be blended into smoothies, eaten raw in salads, or steamed.

Lentils

Lentils are a great form of fiber and protein. They’re also high in zinc and B vitamins. Use lentils as a meat substitute in chili and burger patties. You can also add them to soups and salads.

Elder care aides help seniors age at home. They assist just enough for an aging adult to remain independent and social. Make arrangements and learn more about prices by calling an elder care agency.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Highland Park, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.