Senior Wellness and Nutrition
National Eat Your Vegetables Day was celebrated on June 17th, and June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month.
As children, our parents naturally tried to insist that we eat our vegetables and for many children, it was one of the worst things you could do. Being forced to eat vegetables was like some form of child abuse! Little did you know that there is a day dedicated to eating vegetables? Although, if you live a healthy lifestyle, fruits and vegetables should be a part of your daily diet anyway.
National Eat Your Vegetables Day is an additional opportunity to remind us that vegetables are a critical part of a healthy diet. It is recommended that you eat five servings of fruits or vegetables every day.
For many seniors, this is a funny irony, considering how much time was dedicated to making our children eat vegetables and now it’s you that is being forced to eat them! Kids say, “LOL” online and in a text, which means, Laugh Out Loud, well; this is laughing out loud humor. After all the time and effort and energy you gave to having your kids eat vegetables, now they get the chance to make you eat them. It’s all too funny.
Anyway, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke and can protect against certain types of cancers. A diet rich in fiber, which includes some fruits and vegetables, may also reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which isn’t funny.
According to the US Academy of Science and Medicine National Institute of Health, nutrition links the function and quality of life for older adults with chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable consumption during older adulthood, which isn’t specified by age, is associated with reduced likelihood of chronic illness. Some studies offer support to the linkage between fruit and vegetable intake during older adulthood and cardiovascular health. These dietary characteristics are protective against hypertension, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke among older adults, as well as being protective against the development or exacerbation of several kinds of cancer for men and women.
The evidence is also emerging regarding the relationship between diet and osteoporosis. Numerous studies have linked vitamin D and calcium consumption to improved bone mineral density. Additional research suggests that a diet rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K (acquired from consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables) may also aid in the prevention of bone loss in both sexes.
Of course, a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables combined with exercise can help you live a happier, healthier and longer life!
VEGETABLE FUN FACTS:
- Tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid Lycopene, and eating foods with carotenoids can lower your risk of cancer
- Other vegetables high in carotenoids are carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and collard greens
- The most common bell pepper is the green one, but they can also be red, purple or yellow
- Tomatoes are consumed, in the United States, more than any other single fruit or vegetable
- California produces almost all of the broccoli sold in the United States Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same things
- A baked potato (with skin) is a good source of dietary fiber (4 grams)
- Cheese is the most popular ‘cover up’ used by parents to entice their children to eat broccoli and cauliflower
- According to a survey by Ragu pasta sauces, the most popular vegetables with the kids are carrots, peas, cucumber, corn, and broccoli