While most people think of pumpkins as autumn’s top seasonal décor, they are actually one of the most nutritious foods available this time of year. Instead of pumpkin pie and jack-o-lanterns, it’s time to remember how wonderful pumpkin-based meals are for both young and old. Pumpkin is especially beneficial for elderly people because of the high nutritional value, soft texture and delicious taste. The vitamins and minerals found in pumpkin are is exactly what seniors need to stay happy and healthy.
Pumpkins are one of the top sources of beta-carotene, which is a pro-vitamin that the body converts to vitamin A to use. It’s responsible for that bright orange color, and beta-carotene has been linked to boosting the immune system, healthy eyes and even to preventing coronary heart disease.
With enough vitamin A to meet the daily recommended dose for adults, pumpkin is ideal for seniors that want healthier heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. Vitamin A is also a key factor in healthy eyes and better vision.
Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin C, in which many seniors are often deficient. The body needs vitamin C to maintain, grow and repair tissues. It’s also good for strengthening bones and teeth. Additionally, vitamin C is critical in helping the body recover and health from wounds.
Those that eat a serving of pumpkin get well over half of the daily recommendation for vitamin K, an important nutrient that helps transport calcium throughout the body. The result is stronger bones and teeth. It’s also important for blood clotting and healing wounds.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with goodness, including zinc. With zinc, the body is better able to fight off bacteria and viruses because it boosts the immune system. This important trace mineral is also a key contributor to healthy skin.
Just a cup of pumpkin provides around 3 grams of fiber. In addition to helping with digestion and making people feel full, fiber helps regulate the body’s insulin by slowing the absorption of sugar. Fiber is also linked to reduced cholesterol and heart disease.
Pumpkin is the source of numerous other nutrients such as vitamin E, riboflavin, copper, potassium, thiamin, manganese, vitamin B-6, folate, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, niacin and
These are just a few of the nutrients found in pumpkin, and there are many more health reasons why family caregivers should start searching for recipes to serve their elderly relatives. It’s important to note that pumpkin should be used fresh or canned, but not the canned pumpkin pie filling. There’s too much extra sugar and syrup in it that wipes out some of the nutritious value.
When it comes to providing elderly relatives with as many healthy foods and nutrients as possible, family caregivers should not overlook the delicious taste, versatility and nutritional value of pure pumpkin.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Perth Amboy, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.