Superfoods for Seniors
Wow it seems like it has been forever since I last featured a chapter from the Superfoods for Seniors book, but it has been on my desk at work for the longest time so I guess it’s time to begin again.
The last chapter we discussed was Tummy Tamers, and this week we will pick up with “Bowel Disease Basics”. As most of you know, my hubby was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Cancer and had surgery approximately one year ago in March. Although the cancerous cells were removed, they have since noticed a growth albeit small one in a lymph node and have been monitoring him closely. We are not claiming the possibility of it being cancerous, we are however, eating right as not aggravate the cells.
According to the book, the 17 Superfoods that help to cure intestinal ills are as follows:
Cooked Rice – the starch is tough enough to withstand stomach acids and encourages the growth of probiotics which is a valuable bacteria.
Oats – soluable fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel that slows food down in your intestines, giving your body the chance to make butyrate. Rolled oats are best and are great with blueberries, another soluble fiber.
Yogurt – packed with probiotic power, look for those labeled “active cultures”. Yogurt is an easier calcium source to digest than milk.
Lentils – a great source of iron for people with anemia often found in people with IBS. If you prefer not to eat beans, try other iron rich foods like clams or chicken.
Artichokes – High in magnesium which is hard to absorb if you have IBD or celiac disease. Try steaming and dipped lightly in mayo with lemon juice or plain yogurt with Dijon mustard. Other foods high in magnesium are green peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, okra, scallops and beans.
Butterhead Lettuce – switch from iceberg lettuce to butterhead lettuce to get 4x more vitamin K which helps the blood to clot properly. If you bruise easily, have excessive bleeding or nosebleeds you may be vitamin K deficient. Butterhead lettuce includes Bibb or Boston, try adding these to your salads instead.
Orange Juice – fortified with Vitamin D because people with IBD or celiac disease often absorb less Vitamin D than average, which is also a risk for osteoperois.
Turkey – high fat foods can cause cramping and diarrhea so cut the fat with turkey which is lower in fat and can add zinc to your diet. Zinc had wound-healing powers which may be loss if you are taking steroids for IBD.
Chickpeas – add more folate-rich chickpeas to your diet to help control colon cancer risk. If they are too high in fiber for you, try eating raw spinach or canned condensed chicken noodle soup.
Pumpkin – just ½ cup of pumpkin will provide as much Vitamin A as a whole cup of carrots. Vitamin A helps to protect the lining of your intestines.
Lima Beans – if on steroids which robs your body of potassium, then eating Lima Beans which are rich in potassium will help to replace it. Lack of potassium causes confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, kidney damage, paralysis and irregular heart beats.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail – contains higher amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E and C. Helps to reduce the minimum steroid dosage needed to control ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Collard Greens – leafy greens such as collards, kale, and turnip greens can help you add calcium without milk’s consequences.
Sardines – rich in calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fish oils sardines also contain selenium which help lower the increased colon cancer risk associated with IBD.
Rainbow Trout – contains omega-3 fish oils which can help prevent relapses of Crohn’s disease but limit your consumption to 12 oz or less per week because some may contain mercury with PCB’s.
Pineapple – has been linked to the improvement of ulcerative colitis symptoms in older adults. Fresh pineapple is better than canned or in a gelatin.
Disclosure: I am not in the medical field so please check with your own physician before making any changes to your diet.