Pumpkins are one of the most popular and prominent symbols of autumn and people use them to decorate everything from homes and schools to offices and stores. Many people even associate delicious pumpkin pie with autumn holidays. However, pumpkin is also a delicious and nutritious food that should be incorporated a lot more into fall menus. Nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is an especially good choice for elderly people.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Seniors
Pumpkin joins other extremely nutrient-dense foods such as blueberries, spinach and salmon as being low in calories yet full of vitamins and minerals. It’s easy to introduce pumpkin into meals for elderly people via soup, salad, baked goods and desserts. Because of its soft texture and delicious taste, seniors are sure to find pumpkin a welcome addition.
Pumpkin delivers many nutrients to the body and the health benefits are some that elderly people are especially in need of. Here are just a few of the things that pumpkin can do to boost the health of an elderly person:
- The potassium in pumpkins can help reduce high blood pressure.
- Pumpkin is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, and antioxidant that can reduce the risk of cancer and help the body fight off age-related diseases.
- It’s full of vitamin C, which helps the immune system and boosts eye health.
- Fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin, are rich in fiber which helps with digestion, weight loss, heart health and cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin A can help keep skin healthy and strong by contributing to the cell renewal process.
- With pumpkin delivering the anti-oxidant vitamin E to the body, it can help in preventing all kinds of degenerative diseases as well as protecting cells from free radicals.
- Other nutrients found in pumpkin include riboflavin, copper, manganese, thiamin, iron, vitamin B-6, phosphorous, magnesium and pantothenic acid.
Incorporating Pumpkin into More Meals
Family caregivers that can’t think of ways to prepare and serve pumpkin beyond pumpkin pie should take advantage of online recipe sites that provide an endless array of ideas. The elderly care about taste and texture more than nutrition, so pumpkin is ideal. There are plenty of recipes that will help family caregivers bring this nutritious fall food into more meals. However, they should use fresh pumpkin right from the plant or else canned pumpkin. It’s not a good idea to use pumpkin pie filling as this has added sugar and sweeteners.
A few easy ways to incorporate pumpkin into an elderly person’s diet is to make a banana pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and pumpkin oat muffins. Family caregivers can also substitute pumpkin puree for oil or butter in almost any baked recipe.
Family caregivers want to help their elderly relatives be as healthy as they can, as part of their elderly care plan. It’s hard to keep track of all the nutritious superfoods out there, and most people don’t think about pumpkin when it isn’t autumn. However, by keeping some pure canned pumpkin in the pantry, family caregivers can provide their elderly relatives with a nutrient boost any time of the year.
For elderly care in Cherry Hill, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 720-0100.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.
When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.