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8 Underrated Veggies Elderly People Should Eat Regularly

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Seniors can receive many health benefits from eating a balanced diet that includes vegetables like lettuce and cucumbers. However, there are many overlooked vegetables seniors should incorporate into their diets that offer them new flavors and health benefits. Here are eight underrated healthy vegetables your loved one can try.

1. Watercress 

This powerhouse vegetable has high levels of potassium and magnesium that can lower a senior’s blood pressure. It’s also rich in vitamins K, C, and A and other antioxidants. Eating this dark, leafy vegetable may lessen a senior’s risk of getting diabetes and heart disease.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Nashville families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

2. Collard Greens 

This vegetable contains crucial antioxidants such as vitamin E, A, and C. Vitamin A is necessary for a senior’s eye health. This cabbage-like vegetable also has high levels of vitamin K, which can increase a senior’s bone mass.

3. Broccoli Rabe 

A cross between kale and broccoli, this underrated vegetable is full of iron, zinc, and vitamins A, K, and C. It has sulphur-containing antioxidants known as glucosinolates that can fight cancer. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which can keep an older adult’s teeth and bones strong. 

4. Red Cabbage 

This vegetable belongs to the cruciferous family that also includes turnips and broccoli. The isothiocyanates and the flavonoid known as cyanidin present in the red pigment of this vegetable may stop the development of cancer cells and repair cell damage caused by carcinogens. In 2012, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center released study results stating that breast cancer survivors who regularly ate cruciferous vegetables lessened their risk of dying by 62 percent.

5. Jicama 

Also known as a yam bean, this low-calorie root vegetable is a wonderful source of nutrients that can boost a senior’s energy level, including potassium, iron, and calcium. It’s also a great source of fiber, which can lower cholesterol levels.

6. Artichokes 

Seniors can eat the leaves and heart of this versatile vegetable. In 2006, research done by the United States Department of Agriculture was featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It stated that a serving of artichokes offers more benefits than other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and dark chocolate. It also has lactones and cynarine that can keep a senior’s heart healthy.

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7. Swiss Chard 

At only 7 calories a cup, this vegetable is available in two main varieties, rainbow chard and one with white veins and stems. Both varieties are a wonderful source of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are antioxidants that can benefit a senior’s eye health.

8. Rutabagas 

Low in calories, this root vegetable is a cross between the turnip and the cabbage. One serving of rutabagas contains 53 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, which stimulates a senior’s immune system. Eating this vegetable may slow premature aging and enhance eyesight because it can fight off free radicals and stimulate cell proliferation.

As a family caregiver, you may not always have the time to cook a nutritious vegetable-rich diet for your loved one. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Nashville seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn more about our elderly care programs, get in touch with one of our experienced Care Managers today at (615) 656-4999.