Keeping A Healthy Heart

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but did you know that eating them is the best way to keep your heart healthy?

Two Chinese studies followed the diets of 140,000 people for approximately 5 and 10 years. The data showed that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 16% less likely to die of heart disease, and people who ate the most cruciferous vegetables were 22% less likely to die of heart disease.

So, which fruits and vegetables are the best for your heart? The #1 thing you can do to keep your heart healthy is eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. As for fruits, stick with citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruit. Gradually increase your fruit and vegetable intake until you reach the ideal intake level of 7 – 9 servings per day.

Then, you will have a happy healthy heart!

The Nutritional Value of Corn

Corn can be classified as either a vegetable or a grain. Kernels of corn, on or off the cob, are vegetables. But popcorn and the processed corn used to make corn muffins and cereals are grains. Research shows that it has more health-promoting antioxidants than wheat, oats or rice. Corn is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help protect vision. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamin C, thiamine and folate, and has a minimal affect on blood sugar.

Here are some possible benefits to eating corn:
*The high amount of fiber present in corn can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
*Corn, if consumed in moderate quantities, has been seen to be beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
*Those suffering from anemia have shown positive effects after consuming corns.
*Corn has been found to be helpful in treating kidney problems, including renal dysfunction.
*Regular consumption of corn, in moderate quantities, has been associated with better cardiovascular health.
*The beta-cryptoxanthin in corn makes it good for the health of the lungs and may even help prevent lung cancer.
*The insoluble fiber in corn makes it good for those suffering from common digestive ailments, like constipation and hemorrhoids.

So grab an ear, and try this easy way to prepare fresh delicious corn on the cob. Get fresh corn on the cob, toss the corn cob in the microwave, husk and all. For two ears, cook for three to four minutes. Remove with a pot holder and let them stand for five minutes before trying to peel away the silk and husk.

Food Hardship in the U.S.

Many Struggle with Hunger

Client, Meals on Wheels WestDespite the official declaration that the recession is over, most of us haven’t seen it yet. In fact, the number of people over the age of 65 who live in poverty doubled in just one year. How many of you struggled with hunger last year? According to a recent study, last year 1 in 5 households in the US struggled with hunger and the inability to purchase food. There are almost 6 million seniors in the US who struggle with hunger every day!

In Los Angeles County alone, more than 36% of all adults live in food-insecure households, and 15% of our total population lives below the poverty line! How are people reacting? Various organizations all over the country have been holding food drives. This year, Kraft held the first Fight Hunger Bowl, which donated 20 million meals to Feeding America, a nationwide food-bank organization. The Meals on Wheels Association of America has a campaign to end senior hunger by 2020. And what is Meals on Wheels West doing? We continue to bring meals to people who, due to disability, cannot get or make meals for themselves. And no matter how rapidly the number of people increases who cannot afford to pay for our services, we will continue to provide them the nutrition and companionship that everyone deserves, at no charge.

Learn more here.

Easy Ways Older Adults Can Stay Healthy

Staying Healthy

Visual Training Graphic, Meals on Wheels West

1. Improve vision with perceptual training. Just one hour per day of perceptual training may improve vision. Perceptual training helps your brain quickly recognize what your eyes see. Many exercises can be downloaded online. Here are a few: 

  • Visual Training Activities 1 – PDF
  • Visual Training Activities 2 – PDF
  • Visual Training Activities – Online

If you already do perceptual training, please share your activities so we can share them with others.

2. Become more active by drinking beetroot juice. With growing age, we take in less oxygen, making it difficult for us to exercise because our muscles need a lot of oxygen. Beetroot juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the amount of oxygen muscles need for exercise. It reduces the amount of effort required to do anything you use your muscles for! When drinking beetroot juice, be sure to mix it with other juice, because it’s very strong, and talk to your doctor before trying it. For some easy recipes, go here.

3. Reduce risk of falls with exercise and Vitamin D. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of death and injury for the elderly? Help prevent falls with a Vitamin D supplement and daily exercise. The exercise can be very simple exercises aimed at improving gait, balance, strength and flexibility needed for every day activities. This is especially true for people over age 65. Check with a doctor before taking a Vitamin D supplement and to find out the right dose for you. For more information you can review the summary of an interesting study here.

Remember to check with your doctor before making any dietary changes!