Freshly ripened cucumbers can be a delicious and healthy treat. Cucumbers have several unique properties that make them an ideal food for seniors. Following are a few reasons family caregivers should incorporate more cucumbers in their senior loved ones’ diets.
Cucumbers are a great source of fisetin, an anti-inflammatory compound that protects the cells of the brain. A 2014 study published in the journal Aging Cell found mice that ate a lot of fisetin had a significantly lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive diseases.
Lowers Blood Pressure
A cucumber contains as much potassium as a banana. This essential nutrient is crucial for maintaining and regulating water and sodium levels in the body. Eating a potassium-rich diet can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease and stroke.
Eating nutritious meals is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices older adults can make. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Promotes Weight Loss
In addition to being delicious, cucumbers have an extremely low calorie count, which is why seniors can snack on cucumbers for hours without worrying about their waistlines. Two cups of cucumber slices contain a mere 30 calories. The majority of these calories come in the form of beneficial carbohydrates. Whether you use them in a salad or main dish or your loved one enjoys them alone, cucumbers can provide a sense of fullness without all the fat of traditional snack foods. This helps seniors avoid obesity, which can cause a myriad of secondary health problems, such as diabetes.
Reduces Cancer Risk
These refreshing vegetables are packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and phytonutrients, which prevent oxidative cellular damage. Since damaged cells can eventually mutate into cancerous cells as people age, the antioxidants in cucumbers may lower the risk of cancer.
Lowers Stress Levels
Stress doesn’t just affect the brain. It’s also a physical response to outside triggers that raise levels of cortisone, a stress hormone. Cucumbers contain biotin, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5, all of which lower cortisol levels and, consequently, stress. It’s important for seniors to avoid stress, as prolonged experience with it can lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, and other serious health issues.
Some older adults need help preparing nutritious meals. 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. Palm Desert seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Cucumbers contain a lot of fiber, which is critical for healthy digestion. In fact, two cups of cucumbers provide approximately one gram of fiber. The fiber seniors get from cucumbers can prevent upset stomachs, bowel disturbances, and bloating. The relatively high fiber levels in cucumbers may even reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancer and other digestive illnesses. Nutritionists recommend seniors get at least 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed to ensure intestinal motility and keep bowel movements soft and regular.
In addition to calcium, the body needs vitamin K, which—along with vitamin D—enhances calcium absorption. One cup of cucumbers provides seniors with 11 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, which keeps their bones healthy and strong.
Along with eating vegetables like cucumbers, it’s important for seniors to maintain a well-rounded, balanced diet. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Palm Desert families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, give us a call at (760) 345-0001 today.