We are so excited to introduce our new blog! We hope that you will use this as a resource to stay updated on current health and lifestyle issues facing seniors and people with disabilities. We love to hear your feedback and suggestions so if there is ever a subject that you want to learn more about please let us know!
Thanksgiving: Thanking your aging loved ones for a healthy tradition.
Thanksgiving has always been a cross generational event that involves gathering together with our loved ones and community to put together a meal that celebrates the harvest of the fall season as well as family traditions. In this way, Thanksgiving represents a very important holiday for us here at TheraCare because it centers around sharing old traditions with new generations; or, more specifically, Thanksgiving centers around giving thanks to our aging loved ones who brought us these traditions. As these traditions evolve within our culture and individual families the Thanksgiving meal remains a constant. The feast allows for people to make individual and creative adaptations relevant to current food trends while still maintaining the history of the event and family and regional particularities.
Interestingly, the first thanksgiving was very different from what we consider traditional, or classic, today. The Smithsonian, sites what we consider a traditional thanksgiving as a creation of the 19th century. Be it coincidence, or not, the Thanksgiving classics of the 19th century tout health benefits against many health issues faced by seniors such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. In this way, the meal itself seems to celebrate our aging loved ones by boosting their health and letting them hand down traditions at the same time!
Turkey: Turkey is native to the Americas and plays an important historical role in thanksgiving feats. Although wild turkey may have been present in the original thanksgiving feast, it was not the centerpiece. But maybe it should have been; turkey is low in fat, which isn’t in short supply in the rest of the meal, and high in protein. This bird is also rich in minerals like zinc and b vitamins which are necessary for energy production. And the tryptophan in turkey responsible for making us sleepy also produces serotonin which boosts the immune system.
Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: As the Smithsonian explains, potatoes originated from South America and were not present in North America at the first thanksgiving. But as anyone familiar with the history of the potato knows it is a modest food that boasts many health benefits. World’s Healthiest Foods explains, potatoes are packed with dietary fiber, magnesium, and phytonutrients such as carotenoids. Further, research is beginning to reveal the potato’s power to potentially lower blood pressure.
Brussel Sprouts: Brussel sprouts are shown to help protect against cancer, lower cholesterol, and help thyroid production. When brussel sprouts are digested the fiber binds to bile in your stomach effectively lowering your cholesterol.
Pumpkin: Its no surprise that pumpkins, like sweet potatoes and other red and orange vegetables, are packed with beta-carotene due to their bright colors. But pumpkins also contain tryptophan which is known to boost our moods! Further, pumpkins are also packed with vitamin c making them a great immune booster as well.
Cranberries: Cranberries have long been celebrated for their ability to help prevent urinary tract infections. Research shows that proanthocyanidins or (PACs) in cranberries work to effectively block bacteria from latching onto the urinary tract lining. Similarly, the PACs may also do the same thing in the stomach helping to prevent stomach ulcers caused by bacteria latching onto the stomach lining.
With all these benefits, consider some unique family traditions your aging loved ones have contributed to your Thanksgiving and any added health benefits they may have. We also encourage you to click on the picture at the top of the page for some regional Thanksgiving feast ideas or visit World’s healthiest foods, to learn about the health benefits of your holiday favorites!
From all of us here at Ambassador,
Have a happy, healthy, and tasty Thanksgiving!