Healthy Eating for Seniors
ALC Home Health is dedicated to helping promote ways for seniors to remain active and well. As everyone knows, healthy eating is important for a healthy lifestyle. This entry initially was to be an overview of several summer-time foods that have health benefits that are especially, but not exclusively beneficial to seniors. We got stuck on the very first food. The information that we found surprised us…it was so interesting, and the benefits are so significant, that the list of healthy foods will wait and this article focuses on just one. Watermelon. Who knew that anything that tastes so great could be so good for you? It’s true. Watermelons have many nutrients, are hydrating, and low in fat. Keep reading…it gets more fascinating towards the very end of the article.
Registered dietician Ruth Frechman, shared related information in an article calledSpring and Summer Foods with Surprising Health Benefits for agingcare.com, written by Anne-Marie Botek. Watermelons, she reported, contain a “staggering amount of nutrients that seniors need.” Staggering amount! For instance, watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, even more than the tomato which is often viewed as being the top banana of lycopene. A powerful antioxidant, lycopene is believed to combat certain cancers and heart disease and to reduce the risk of sun-related skin damage.
Watermelon is also chocked full of important vitamins including vitamin A which is an antioxidant and promotes eye health; Vitamin C which is an antioxidant and strengthens the immune system, heals wounds, helps prevent cell damage, and promotes healthy teeth; and vitamin B6 which helps convert protein to energy and helps protect brain function. Vitamins A, C and E and carotenoids, all of which are abundant in watermelon, are shown to help protect against the development of Age Related Macular Degeneration. Watermelon is very high in potassium which is important for muscle and nerve function and helps lower blood pressure. Recent research is showing that eating this sweet tasting melon, and particularly drinking it as fresh juice, can have some significant health benefits, as reported by whfoods.com.
The polysaccharide carbohydrates in watermelon are thought to increase the level of serotonin in the body. Foreverhealthyaging.com, a website promoting anti-aging news, explains that by eating watermelon shortly before going to bed, you may experience significantly improved sleep quality.
It’s important for anyone, regardless of age, to remain hydrated. Watermelon has a higher water content and lower calorie content than many other foods, whichwhfoods.com reports, delivers more nutrients per calorie.
One of the most interesting facts about watermelon is that it contains high amounts of acid citrulline which the body converts to arginine. This can help heal wounds and skin problems. It also helps to boost nitric oxide levels which in turn relaxes blood vessels and provides what is compared to the Viagra-effect for erectile dysfunction.
In addition to its more obvious options for eating watermelon and/or drinking its juice, the rind and seeds are also edible and nutritious. The fact is, we’ve diligently searched, but have been unsuccessful in identifying any downside to eating watermelon. Healthy eating for seniors can and should include watermelon. So, especially during its peak during the summer months: partake plentifully and enjoy!!