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Senior Health: Essential Disease-Fighting Foods

By Lauren Robison, 9:00 am on

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to accept an increased risk of developing certain diseases. There are plenty of foods with disease-fighting properties that happen to be tasty and rich in essential nutrients. Incorporating some of the foods listed here by New Hampshire Home Care Assistance into your diet can give your immune system an added boost during your senior years.

Whole Grains

Antioxidant vitamins, fiber, and trace minerals found in whole grains make barley, rye, brown rice, millet, oatmeal, and whole grain cereals healthy dietary choices for seniors. The American Dietetic Association recommends 21-38 grams of whole grains per day to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Berries

While blueberries top the list of berries rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, cranberries, blackberries, and strawberries also have plenty of cancer-fighting agents that can benefit seniors. It’s also believed that compounds in berries may keep some cancers from spreading.

Nuts

Raw tree nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts can naturally lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Nuts are also a reliable source of protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, and other essential vitamins and minerals that may lower cancer risk in seniors.

Beans

In addition to being a versatile and flavorful addition to senior diets, beans have certain properties that can naturally reduce blood sugar, possibly prevent some forms of cancer, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Beans high in disease-fighting nutrients like folic acids and high-quality proteins include soybeans, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans.

Tomatoes

Lycopene is one of the primary antioxidants found in tomatoes and may help prevent cancerous cells from developing in the first place. Whether eaten whole, diced, or stewed, tomatoes are also a reliable source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and phytochemicals.

Sweet Potatoes

Ditch the “white” and go for the “sweet,” when looking to maximize disease-fighting benefits with potatoes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins C and E, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and other essential nutrients that can play a role in staving off heart disease and some cancers.

Learn more about senior wellness from the friendly staff at New Hampshire Home Care Assistance. Although we are known for our memory care services, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care in New Hampshire, we also offer live-in and flexible hourly care plans for seniors who require minimal assistance with grocery shopping and other errands, meal preparation, exercise, and transportation to appointments and social engagements. Call a Care Manager at (603) 471-3004 and learn more about how we’re changing the way the senior population ages.