As caregivers, making the right dietary choices for our ageing loved ones can be challenging. They tend to eat less, and their bodies often become less efficient in absorbing nutrients.
Here are 6 nutrient-packed superfoods you can integrate into their meal plans to help them get the most out of every bite and fight off age-related disease and illness.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, salmon’s cardiovascular benefits include reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and cleaning up fatty plaque lining arteries. It is also loaded in anti-oxidants which lower the risk of heart disease by reducing LDL (i.e. bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (i.e. good cholesterol).
Boosts brain health
Did you know that consuming salmon could help lower the risk of dementia? Research among those 65 years old and older has shown those who consume fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week were 13% less likely to develop age-related memory issues compared to those who consumed fatty fish once or less than once a week.
Improves eye health and prevents age-related blindness
Rich in antioxidants like lutein, spinach can protect the eyes from effects of UV rays and free radicals to prevent age-related eye conditions such as cataracts. Green leafy vegetables like spinach also help ward off conditions like macular degeneration and keep the conjunctiva (mucous membrane of the eye) healthy.
Consuming three to four servings of dark leafy greens like spinach per week can help prevent cancers in the mouth, oesophagus, and stomach. Antioxidants in spinach protect cells from mutations that result in cancerous tumour growth.
Rejuvenates ageing skin and reduce wrinkles
Want radiant and dewy skin at 60? Try beetroot, an excellent source of anti-ageing antioxidants that prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Beetroot juice also contains a significant amount of vitamin C which helps reduce pigmentation and blemishes.
Improves blood flow & lowers blood pressure
Rich in nitrates, beetroot can help lower blood pressure and improve the circulation of blood around the body. Nitrates are broken down to form nitric oxide that helps to ease pressure on the heart by expanding blood vessels.
Maintains bone density and health
Nutrients such as Vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium help stimulate the production of new bone cells and maintain bone strength. Pomegranate extract is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects and can aid in reducing the severity of symptoms for arthritis and joint pain. A study conducted in 2016 found that those who consumed pomegranate extract twice a day had less joint tenderness, swelling and pain than those who did not.
Immune system booster
An excellent source of vitamin C, pumpkin helps fend off germs and infections. Vitamin C is also crucial for tissue repair, the healing of cuts and wounds and in strengthening bones and teeth.
Promotes crystal clear vision
A single cup of pumpkin contains thrice the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for optimal eye health and helps the retina absorb or process light. Pumpkin is also rich in antioxidants that help prevent the onset of cataracts and slow the development of age-related macular degeneration.
6. Olive oil
Strengthens cardiovascular health
Olive oil is found to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce fatty deposits on the lining of blood vessels, and prevent unwanted blood clotting. Scientists found that those who regularly consume olive oil had a 41% lower risk of stroke compared to those who do not.
Fights harmful and antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Functioning as a natural antibiotic, olive oil consists of nutrients that kill harmful bacteria. This includes a potent strain that lives in the stomach and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Studies have shown that olive is oil is effective against three such strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.