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5 Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for the Elderly

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

The elderly don’t always have control over the nutritional properties and quality of their meals. However, including plenty of vegetables like sweet potatoes can help them maintain their health. Fresh-cooked sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrition that can be regularly included in your senior loved one’s meals, and Allentown, PA, in-home senior care experts explain why these vegetables are so healthy.

1. Keeps Eyes Healthy

Though carrots are the vegetable most people think of when it comes to promoting eye health, sweet potatoes offer similar benefits because they contain high amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A has proven to be essential for maintaining good eyesight. 

2. Facilitates Digestion

The fiber in sweet potatoes makes them a powerhouse for a slow digestive system. In traditional Chinese medicine, sweet potatoes are used to nourish the stomach and spleen and to clear constipation.

3. Boosts Heart Health

Sweet potatoes contain B vitamins, and they are also fat and cholesterol free. Due to these qualities, these root vegetables do not contribute to hardening of the arteries. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium, an essential electrolyte that is necessary for regulating blood pressure.

4. Regulates Blood Sugar

Many older adults are at risk for developing type 2 Diabetes. The carbohydrates found in sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index than other potatoes and starchy vegetables. Though natural sugars are necessary for energy, a study conducted at North Carolina State University revealed the slower release of sugars in sweet potatoes may help seniors control blood glucose levels.

5. Promotes Sleep

As seniors age, they generally require less sleep. However, the sleep they do get needs to be sound and restorative. A lack of good quality sleep contributes to physical and mental stress. Magnesium, which is found in sweet potatoes, is an essential mineral needed to promote sleep.

If your loved one needs help maintaining a nutritious diet, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance can help. In addition to assistance with cooking and grocery shopping, our expertly trained caregivers can also help with tasks like bathing, grooming, and exercise. For more information on the respite and 24-hour care Allentown seniors rely on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 484-350-3874 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.