Healthy blood vessels are important as you age. As the blood vessel walls thicken and harden or become clogged with plaque, the risk of heart disease and stroke increase. Vegetables can help keep blood vessels healthy. Here's how.
Factors That Impact Blood Vessels
Poor dietary and physical habits can impact the health of a blood vessel. Smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, a diet high in fatty or sugary foods are all issues that can impact the health of your blood vessels.
Inflammation is another reason they can weaken. As blood vessels become inflamed, they can stretch from the swelling. To prevent further damage, the body may send plaques that cling to the walls to thicken them, but these plaques can also clog the vessels, which leads to loss of blood flow and serious health issues like stroke or heart disease.
Some people have thinner vein walls due to their family history. If a parent had thin vein walls, it could be a genetic trait.
How Can Vegetables Help?
Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which is beneficial to a cell's overall health. What's more intriguing is a study out of Australia that found cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of hardening of the arteries. Hardened arteries increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In the study, women who ate at least two servings of cruciforms each day had healthier arteries. These vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, rutabaga, and turnip. All of these are vegetables that are known for giving off an unpleasant sulfurous smell when boiled.
To bypass the smell, consider sauteing or roasting the vegetables. Toss Brussels sprouts in a little avocado oil and balsamic vinegar for a tasty side. You can also roast broccoli, cauliflower, rutabaga, and turnip with ease. If you don't like the smell of boiled cabbage, serve it raw in a salad or saute it in a little sesame oil with ginger and garlic.
Ensure That the Daily Diet is Rich in Vegetables of All Colors
You want to make sure that all colors of vegetables are eaten. While cruciferous vegetables are touted as being great for arteries, red bell peppers are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are just as good. Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes have plenty of beta carotene. Red vegetables like tomatoes are also high in antioxidants.
Do your parents still cook meals? Seniors who don't cook are more likely to eat pre-packaged meals, takeout, and canned soups and pastas. Make sure they're eating lots of fresh vegetables. Caregivers can cook meals using fresh vegetables and meats. Talk to an agency to arrange meal preparation services from caregivers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Elsie, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.