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Healthy Super Foods for the Elderly

Nov 26, 2012 at 8:10

Superfoods are classified by their numerous and varied health benefits. Engaging in adequate superfood intake can drastically improve all manner of health indicators, including inflammatory responses and insulin sensitivity. The prevention of disease states makes superfood consumption highly valuable to generally-fragile senior health.

Consistent intake of a few, select superfoods can ameliorate disease states, prevent future illnesses and increase quality of life. Learning about the most common and effective superfoods for the elderly is of vital importance for those seeking a healthy range of golden years.

Oranges for Heart Health

Much of an orange's health benefit is often centered on its vitamin C content. While vitamin C is a highly useful antioxidant, oranges and citrus fruit provide a number of other preventative and curative perks upon consumption.

Oranges create powerful instances of hormesis after ingestion. Hormetic properties are known for their dual weakening/strengthening effect, which occurs through specialized DNA activation. Orange polyphenols trigger dormant sections of DNA that result in improved cellular function. Cardiovascular activity, inflammatory blood markers and insulin sensitivity are all improved as a result of this hormetic benefit. Each of these properties is highly valuable to those of advanced age.

Oranges also provide magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate. This particular magnesium compound has been shown to reduce the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones can ravage an otherwise healthy senior citizen, which makes prevention quite important.

Broccoli for Prostate Health

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. This particular family activates hormetic channels in much the same manner as oranges. Cruciferous vegetables, however, have well documented studies concerning their beneficial effect on prostate cancer. Elderly males of industrialized nations have increasingly high rates of prostate cancer as they age. The chances of developing prostate cancer or prostate disease are reduced by almost 30% in those who consume cruciferous plants daily.

Broccoli also provides a large amount of soluble fiber content. This property allows intestinal flora to thrive, which has a radiating effect on total health. Many bowel ailments experienced by middle and advanced-age individuals, such as irritable bowel syndrome or antibiotic-induced c. diff. infections, can be traced to poor gut health. 

Butter for Insulin Control

Aging bodies are notable for their lack of muscular mass and reduced insulin sensitivity. These factors often combine with a sedentary lifestyle, increased body fat and poor food choices, which can magnify a senior's odds of developing metabolic syndrome or full-blown diabetes.

Many seniors may regard butter as an unhealthy food. Yet, a tablespoon of butter contains a huge amount of butyric acid, which has been shown to drastically increase insulin sensitivity. A two or three hundred percent increase in insulin sensitivity has been recorded following butter consumption. These findings are doubly important to seniors given the improved blood-serum concentration of triglycerides, glucose and insulin that results from butter consumption. This increase in insulin sensitivity is independent of confounding factors, such as body fat or muscle mass. Increasing insulin sensitivity prevents the inhibition of growth hormone, reduces inflammatory responses and improves glucose uptake.

Butter is also a valuable source of vitamin K. This vitamin is typically synthesized in a healthy intestinal tract by gut bacteria. Seniors often experience compromised gut health and can not create sufficient vitamin K.

About the Author

The author of this article, Nisha, represents a site called She enjoys writing about elderly health care and dementia.