Did you know that pumpkin is a superfood? It’s low in calories and contains multiple nutrients in one serving. It ranks right up there with foods like broccoli, blueberries and salmon as a healthy and nutritional powerhouse. With autumn already here, it’s time to start thinking about the health benefits of pumpkin for seniors.
Family caregivers know that it is often hard for seniors to get all the nutrients they need. With age, medication, illness, physical limitations and more, it’s hard to get seniors to eat properly. That’s why it’s important for elderly people to eat nutrient-dense food, so they get the most benefit with each mouthful.
While most people automatically think of pumpkin pie as the food of choice for this orange vegetable, there are a lot of options to prepare it that aren’t full of sugar and topped with cream. Some of the most popular dishes include pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, smoothies, and more. It’s also easy to add pumpkin to baked goods recipes as a substitute for oil, making pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes a delicious alternative to the traditional. Avoid pumpkin desserts, however, which are usually high in fat, sweets and preservatives.
Here are just a few of the ways that pumpkin provides health benefits for seniors.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Anyone that has worried about their high blood pressure knows that they need to follow a high potassium, low sodium diet, but it’s hard to find food that fits the bill. With pumpkin as part of the diet, elderly people can reduce high blood pressure.
- Assist in Weight Control: At only 83 calories, one cup of canned pumpkin is an ideal low-calorie ingredient. As a substitute for oil in cookies and muffins, pumpkin can help reduce calories. It can be used to thicken smoothies, soups and stews instead of high-fat alternative ingredients. The high fiber in pumpkin also makes people feel fuller after eating.
- Boost Eye Health: Pumpkin is one of the best sources for beta-carotene and vitamin A, which are essential for good vision and healthy eyes. Vitamin A also helps the organs work properly.
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer: Another vitamin that is found in pumpkin is vitamin K, which has been connected to cancer-fighting abilities. The beta-carotene nutrients mentioned before are also shown to fight off certain cancers.
- Helps With Muscle Function: Potassium is abundant in pumpkin, which allows the body to balance fluids, manages nerve and muscle function, and lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Delivers Lots of Nutrients: The body needs all kinds of nutrients that may be hard to find in foods. Pumpkin contains magnesium, zinc, thiamin, folate, niacin, iron, copper, riboflavin and pantothenic acid, among others.
Seniors will love the addition of pumpkin in their diets, mostly because it tastes good. Family caregivers will appreciate the nutritious content of pure pumpkin. Whether fresh or canned, pumpkin should be a welcome addition to the dinner table all year long.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Stuart, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.