Healthy eating for the elderly – Part three

Rediscovering cauliflower

Continuing our series about healthy eating for the elderly we have discovered something we thought you might find interesting. There is a buzz around town at the moment and it is about rediscovering cauliflower. Yes, you read it correctly, cauliflower is the flavour of the month.

At first glance, it presents as a fad. You know, what chefs and foodies do to revive interest and attract diners. However, a little bit of research uncovers some very interesting facts about this traditional vegetable. Although it has been around for a long time, what’s new is the health benefits it presents and new ways of eating it.

Here at Vermont Aged Care, years of experience have taught us the importance of correct nutrition for our beloved elderly residents. We know it plays a crucial role in maintaining their health and well-being. That is why we are happy to pass on the following information about cauliflower to help you look after your elderly loved one.

Interesting facts

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. When cooked in a large amount of water they emit an unpleasant smell. Furthermore, overcooked they become water laden and soggy. However, cooked correctly the results produced are very different. Cauliflower is available in many countries, thereby avoiding the problem and higher costs of importation.

Since it is packed with nutrients and high in fibre, it is healthy and an aid to digestion. This is particularly helpful for the elderly. Nutritionists in several continents are excited about this vegetable. This is because researchers are linking it with the combat against diseases such as cancer and high cholesterol. In fact, the link probably began with cancer research. Since cancer has become such a problem, money is being pumped into research. Therefore, during the course of research into the causes of cancer, cancer-causing elements are being highlighted. Inevitably, these elements include what we eat and drink.

For instance, too much starch in the diet is now known to cause a variety of problems. Ranging from diabetes, obesity, constipation, high cholesterol and cancer. Therefore people are being encouraged to cut back on bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. However, those foods make your feel full.

As the news got around, nutritionists began writing about cauliflower. In turn, the public began to see the humble cauliflower in a new light. Then, food providers caught on and they started to offer the vegetable in a variety of forms. Tiny, raw pieces of cauliflower can be used as a substitute for rice. Amazing right?

Cauliflower cheese is a beloved recipe, but it is fatty and fattening. Soon after, chefs began creating new recipes. Armed with their experience and knowledge of food they quickly came up with interesting new ways to present cauliflower.

The health benefits

One cup raw cauliflower provides: 

  • Fibre: 2.0 grams Good for: digestion 
  • Protein: 2.0 grams Good for: muscle rejuvenation 
  • Carbohydrates: 5.0 grams Good for: energy 
  • Potassium: 320 mg Good for: regulating body’s fluid balance 
  • Calcium: 24 grams  Good for: bones 
  • Vitamin C: 51 grams Good for: immune system 
  • Folate: 61 grams Good for: cell and tissue growth 
  • Vitamin K: 15 grams Good for: aids healthy blood-clotting 
  • BONUS: vitamin A

The standard British and European diet is not a healthy one. That is because it contains too much animal protein. Furthermore, we have now included too many processed carbohydrates. Also, fast foods have become the go to for busy lifestyles. As a result, we are now seeing obese children, obese, sick adults and elderly citizens in very poor health.

Experts agree we need to eat more vegetables and fruit. However, that can result in a very boring diet. Unless we think outside the box and come up with new, varied recipes. After all who wants to eat boiled cauliflower everyday right? The good news is we don’t have to. See link at: http://www.abbeyskitchen.com

How to make the old new again

Some of the recipes are presenting cauliflower as a substitute for pasta, bread, rice and potatoes. Food providers and grocers quickly caught onto the trend. Smaller pieces of cauliflower can be eaten raw. Furthermore, instead of boiling it, light pan frying will eliminate smell and sogginess. Par-boiling cauliflower makes it ready to receive pasta sauce. Mashing it then adding butter and milk is a substitute for mashed potatoes. Of course everybody knows it is excellent in stir fries and curries. But tortillas? Wow!

Think of all the ways you normally cook potatoes and substitute cauliflower. Currently, television cooking shows are celebrating cauliflower purée. Not only because of its delicate flavour but as a substitute for rich sauces. The bonus here is weight loss.

In conclusion

Although cauliflower is the star of the moment, other members of the cruciferous family can be substituted. Think Broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc. They are known to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying. In other words, they are good for you and your elderly loved ones.

Look out for our next blogs, where, amongst other things, we will continue to bring you news about how to live more healthy lives. So, for now, dear readers, from our extended family to yours, we wish you good health and many happy years ahead. Bye for now.

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This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, please contact VERMONT AGED CARE:

770 Canterbury Road, Vermont, Victoria, Australia 3133

Phone: +61 03-9873 5300. Email: info@vermontagedcare.com.au

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