Oct 21, 2016 by Tina Butler
We’ve all heard it a million times. Eating fruits and vegetables is essential for staying healthy, strengthening the immune system, and warding off common diseases and serious health conditions. While many seniors consume fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, and tomatoes, there are a variety of fruits and vegetables that they often overlook. Senior care professionals encourage older adults to add the following little known fruits and veggies into their diets:
Radishes are rich in vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. Their sweet taste and crunchy texture make them an appealing choice for seniors looking for a sweet and crunchy side dish. Rather than eating them alone, elders can also pair radishes with other veggies and fry them in a stir fry.
Snow peas are similar to radishes because they are loaded with vitamin C and offer a crunchy texture to senior adults. They are also added into stir fry meals or cooked plain with a bit of seasoning. Senior care aides encourage elders to eat snow peas quickly because they can only be kept in the fridge for a few days.
Pluots are a mixture of an apricot and plum. They are incredibly affordable and can give aging adults the health benefits of both apricots and plums. Pluots are loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. To find a pluot at a local grocery store, seniors should look for a yellowish fruit that is a bit smaller than a plum and displayed near the plum section.
Also known as carambola, starfruit is a tropical fruit with a unique flavor. When it is cut sideways, it can make perfect star shapes and be added as a decorative fruit to any meal. Unlike other fruits, starfruit is low in sugar and high in vitamin B and fiber.
When most people think of dandelions, they think of flowers rather than dandelion leaves that are healthy additions to slaws and salads. Senior care aides explain that dandelion leaves can also be sautéed and boiled. Believe it or not, one serving of dandelion leaves is 535% of an senior’s daily recommended vitamin K intake.
Lentils are an attractive option for senior adults because they are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and full of vitamin B, protein, fiber, potassium, and zinc. They can be coupled with quinoa or rice or mixed with a warm veggie dish.