June is National Papaya Month. But, how much do you know about this nutritious fruit? It’s one that people often overlook, but they shouldn’t. Papaya is packed with vitamins and minerals that make it a great addition to older adults’ diets. One small papaya provides these six nutrients. Home care aides can create healthy foods with this fruit.
#1 – Calcium
While papayas aren’t as good at providing calcium as a glass of milk is, there’s still calcium in the fruit. In one small fruit, you get almost 32 milligrams or around 2 percent of your daily requirement.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. It’s also needed for healthy muscles and nerve function. Too little calcium can lead to low bone density and osteoporosis.
#2 – Fiber
Get around 3 grams of fiber from a small papaya. The main goal of fiber is to help retain water in the intestines and colon, which helps prevent constipation. Some research shows that high fiber diets can help lower the risk of certain cancers and diabetes.
#3 – Folate
Just one papaya provides more than 58 milligrams of folate, or around 15 percent of your daily requirement. Folate is essential when it comes to forming red blood cells. It also helps with cell growth.
You can also get it from leafy greens. Double up and make a spinach salad with papaya and strawberries for a boost of folate.
Potassium is needed to help regulate the fluid balance in the body. It also helps with blood pressure, muscle contractions, and nerve function. One papaya has around 286 milligrams of potassium.
#5 – Vitamin A
To keep your eyes healthy as you age, get enough vitamin A. It’s also helpful in boosting the immune system, which helps fight illnesses and infections.
To get plenty of vitamin A, eat papaya. A small papaya has about one-third of your daily requirement.
#6 – Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants. It’s believed to help boost the immune system and helps with iron absorption. Get close to 96 milligrams of vitamin C in one papaya, which is over 100 percent of your daily requirement.
How Home Care Providers can Help
You realize that your parents don’t always eat as well as they should. They order takeout pizzas a lot. You rarely see them cooking meals at home. Have you talked to them about this?
As you get older, arthritis is a common chronic condition. If your mom or dad has arthritis in the fingers or wrists, it can make it hard to slice, dice, and chop ingredients. But, there’s a better way. Call a home care agency and talk to a specialist about meal preparation services.
Instead of struggling with grocery shopping, menus, and meal preparation, caregivers can take care of it. Your parents have someone to make their meals and snacks with home care, so they’re always eating fresh vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits like papaya.