Aging brings many challenges. One critical area is that of nutrition. Seniors often don’t get the nutrition they need to maintain good health. Here is a list of vegetables that are a must for anyone, but especially for the elderly whose immune system is weakened.
Vegetables are well-known for being good for your health. Most vegetables are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
However, some vegetables stand out from the rest with additional proven health benefits, such as the ability to fight inflammation or reduce the risk of disease, certainly for seniors.
Here are a few of the healthiest vegetables and why seniors and you should include them in your diet.
This leafy green tops the chart as one of the healthiest vegetables, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile.
One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 56% of daily vitamin A needs plus the entire daily vitamin K requirement; and only for just 7 calories.
Spinach also contains a great deal of antioxidants, which helps reduce the risk of chronic disease.
One study found that dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are high in beta-carotene and lutein, two types of antioxidants that have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer.
In addition, a 2015 study found that spinach consumption may be beneficial for heart health, as it lowers blood pressure.
Carrots are packed with vitamin A, providing 428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup (128 grams).
They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps in cancer prevention.
In fact, one study showed that for each serving of carrots per week, participants’ risk of prostate cancer decreased by 5%.
Another study showed that eating carrots may reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers as well. Compared to those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots had a three times greater risk of developing lung cancer.
Carrots are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables.
It is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound known as glucosinolate, as well as sulforaphane, a by-product of glucosinolate .
Sulforaphane has a protective effect against cancer.
In one animal study, sulforaphane was able to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells while also blocking tumor growth in mice .
Eating broccoli may also help prevent other types of chronic disease, too.
A 2010 animal study found that consuming broccoli sprouts could protect the heart disease. In addition, one cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 116% of your daily vitamin K needs, 135% of the daily vitamin C requirement, and a good amount of folate, manganese and potassium.