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Senior Care Nutrition: Spinach Day

Senior Care in Norwood MA

Spinach in strainer bowlYour mother always told you to eat your spinach when you were growing up, and now that you are on a senior care journey with her, it is time for you to turn the tables and make sure that she is getting enough of her dark, leafy greens as well. March 26 is Spinach Day, the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the nutritional benefits of this flavorful vegetable and find creative ways to integrate more of it into the meals and snacks that you prepare for your aging parent.

Some of the fantastic health benefits of eating more spinach include:

  • Antioxidants. The dark green coloration of spinach shows that it is high in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids. These antioxidants combat the free radicals throughout your body, protecting cells and tissues from damage and preventing cholesterol from oxidizing.
  • Heart health. Spinach is high in a variety of components that are good for cardiovascular health, including folate and magnesium, which is specifically good for lowering and controlling blood pressure.
  • Protein. Many people think only of foods such as meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and beans when they are looking for protein, but the truth is that you are able to get protein from a much wider variety of foods, including spinach. Replacing regular iceberg lettuce in a salad with spinach not only bumps up the flavor, but also adds protein that help to support cellular production, growth, and repair, as well as producing sustaining energy.
  • Fiber. Dietary fiber is an extremely important nutrient but one that most people do not get enough of on a regular basis. Fiber is essential for digestive health, and it also helps to move cholesterol through the body to control cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. Fiber is also effective at producing and sustaining a feeling of fullness so that your parent will eat less.
  • Low calories. Spinach is extremely low in calories, having only 7 in a full cup. This makes it perfect for those who struggle with large appetites but who want to lose weight or combat cravings for unhealthy foods. The low calories in combination with the dietary fiber means that your loved one can fill up on this tasty, nutrient-packed vegetable without going overboard on calories.

Try some of the delicious ways that you and your parent’s non-medical caregiver can get more spinach into your parent’s diet on National Spinach Day and throughout the rest of the year:

  • Morning smoothie. The flavor of spinach is delicious but subtle and lightly sweet, making it perfect for adding into your morning fruit smoothie. A handful will bump up the nutritional value of the smoothie with copper, potassium, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and more.
  • Hearty salad. Transform a usually bland lunch or dinner into something truly delectable and satisfying by trading out your usual salad iceberg for baby spinach. Top it with sliced pears, a handful of walnuts, some crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar for a meal that is filling, vitamin-packed, and protein-rich.
  • Bulk up meals. Frozen spinach is a fantastic ingredient for adding bulk and nutrition to a wide variety of meals. Fill out lasagna, pasta sauces, stuffed peppers, and more.

Source
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/spinach.html
http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-spinach-day-march-26/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073

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