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Benefits & Sources of Beta-Carotene and Zinc

In the final blog of our series on the Immune System and ways to support and maintain it, we are discussing the benefits and sources of Beta-Carotene and Zinc.

What is Beta-Carotene?

Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, especially carrots and other vegetables, that gets converted into Vitamin A – an essential vitamin.

It is a powerful antioxidant that has a number of benefits. It can:

  • reduce inflammation
  • boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body
  • improve cognitive function and reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline
  • maintain skin health and appearance
  • support eye health and prevent eye diseases

Sources of Beta-Carotene

As mentioned, this nutrient is found in colourful vegetables such as carrots with its vibrant orange colour. It can also be found in sweet potatoes, apricots, grapefruit, leafy greens like kale, onions, pumpkin, and squash.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is considered a trace mineral. It is an essential nutrient for our immune system to function and to maintain our health.

Found mostly in our diet, zinc provides a number of benefits, such as the prevention of zinc deficiencies, reducing cold symptoms, healing wounds, reducing symptoms of diarrhea, and may slow the process of age-related eye disease (macular degeneration).

Sources of Zinc

  • whole grains
  • milk products
  • red meat
  • poultry
  • legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and baked beans
  • nuts, such as cashews and almonds
  • shellfish
  • seeds, such as pumpkin and sesame

Remember, before adding vitamin supplements, always speak to your health care provider as many supplements may counteract with specific and prescribed medications. However, introducing small nutritious dietary changes to your daily routine will benefit your overall health and support your immune system for the prevention of certain diseases and overall functioning.


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

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Sweet Potato & Zucchini Hash

One of the best ways to support your immune system and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle as we age is to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients at every meal. To achieve this, consider using locally grown produce that is in season. It not only benefits your community but your health as well.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of betacarotene, which can be converted to vitamin A and help support your immune system and gut health. Its low glycemic index makes it ideal for diabetics, too!

You may be surprised that these traditionally Central and South American potatoes are commercially grown here in Ontario! In fact, Ontario sweet potatoes also contain fibre and are fat and cholesterol-free!

Try this delicious and versatile dish at any meal and enjoy the benefits of this seasonal tuber!

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Hash – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. (450g) sweet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 2 glove garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 eggs
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the sweet potato for 3-4 mins in a pot of boiling water, then drain.
  2. Heat the ½ tbsp. of the oil in a pan, over medium heat.
  3. Add the sweet potato, zucchini, onion and garlic, sauté for about 5 mins, until cooked and browned. Season to taste with salt & pepper, and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the eggs to your liking.
  5. Divide the vegetables between 4 plates, top with fried eggs and sprinkle with parsley. Season with cayenne pepper, salt & pepper, to taste and serve.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#sweetpotato #recipe #wednesday #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Jan. 25: This Day in History

#Onthisday in history, we honour the achievements in entertainment, sports, and science!

Spend time with your elderly loved one today to reminisce and share stories of past historical or personal events.


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#January #history #conversationstarters #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Tissue Paper Craft

In today’s activity, we are using simple materials to design a winter tree or a theme of your choice! It may take a bit of preparation ahead of time, but once ready, it’s as easy as placing tissue paper in glue!

Materials

  • Colourful craft tissue paper
  • Craft glue
  • Craft paper, for background OR design template included below

Instructions

  1. Tear small pieces (about the size of your thumb) of the tissue paper and crumple each one into small loose balls and set aside.
  2. Using the template printed out on paper, or drawinga design of your choice on craft paper), gently and carefull spread craft glue inside the tree shape. This can be done in random lines of glue, specified dots, or spread inside using a popsicle stick.
  3. Gently place each ball of tissue paper inside the shape to adhere to the glue. Let dry.
  4. You may wish to add more tissue paper or other embellishments/drawings along the outside of your shape depending on your design!

**Tip: using different colours of tissue paper and designated areas of glue will create a unique design!

Tree Design Template

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#tissuepaper #craft #activitiesforseniors #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

3 Ways to Protect Yourself from E-mail Scams

For our blog today, we are happy to invite our guest contributor, Remi Goc, President of Ignite Web Solutions to share his top 3 tips for protecting yourself from online fraud.

Technology has sure made a lot of things simpler in life. We can instantaneously share pictures and thoughts with our family and friends. But it has also made the criminals’ life easier, they don’t even have to leave their house to persuade someone out of their hard-earned money.

Most of us have received them or heard about it – the email scam. There are many variations, such as the CRA scam – and who could forget the long-lived, and subject to many jokes… the “Nigerian prince” scam.

While the actors and storylines of the scam will change with time, there are a few small steps we can take to protect ourselves from falling prey to email scams, such as:

1. Email scams work because they target our emotions – greed, shame, fear, anger – scam emails are heavily focused on triggering an emotional response which kicks you into action without really thinking about it. If you find yourself putting logic aside due to the context of an email then set that email aside and come back to it later when the surge of emotion has subsided.

2. They are loose on details. Sure, a scammer might obtain your email address (it’s not hard to do at all) – but they won’t have other information on you. If you find an e-mail light on personal details (such as your name, address or other identifiable information) then it could be another clue that what you have received is a scam email.

3. Language – remember when teachers used to tell us that spelling and grammar matter? Scammers didn’t learn this lesson and their language will be subpar with noticeable errors. Reputable companies, banks, and even the CRA will always proofread their communications material!

For best results use a checklist to see how many red flags an email triggers. For example, if an email checks the boxes of the three points described here then the chance that it’s a scam increases greatly. 

Scams are about triggering us to react quickly and avoid the “or else” scenario – but they all have something in common – the transfer of money from your bank account to someone else.

So if you find yourself on the receiving end of an email supposedly sent by the lawyer of a long-lost millionaire relative who has no descendants so the money is yours for a small fee – remember the wisdom of the following words… if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.


Ignite Web Solutions
www.ignitewebsolutions.com


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#emailscams #protectingseniors #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Fun Facts: Squirrels!

January 21st celebrates these furry-tailed critters who are typically known for their garden shenanigans!

That’s right, it’s #SquirrelAppreciationDay and we thought we would celebrate the day by sharing some fun facts!


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#friday #funfacts #squirrels #chipmunks #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Vitamins C & E

In our continuing series on understanding and supporting our Immune System, today’s blog features the benefits of adding Vitamins C and E into our daily diet.

Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. With ageing, the immune response becomes reduced or impaired. This can greatly affect our daily functioning and may lead to infection and risks pertaining to our health and wellbeing.

Antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, in your diet, have long been thought to offer some level of protection against the oxidative damage that is involved in those with Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive decline in the normal ageing process.

Benefits & Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C protects against deficiencies in the ageing immune system. It increases white blood cell production, which aids in protecting us against infection and disease. Vitamin C also provides antioxidant protection and shields white blood cells from any free radicals – atoms that can damage cells, causing illness.

Other benefits of Vitamin C include protection against cardiovascular disease, eye disease and increase iron absorption – which is needed to reduce the risk of anemia and other conditions.

Vitamin C can be found in supplement form or in nature, such as in red bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and lemon.

Benefits & Sources of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a nutrient that is important for maintaining the health of our vision, reproduction, and the health of our blood, brain, and skin. According to some sources, Vitamin E improves the immune and inflammatory responses of older adults.

This nutrient also has antioxidant features that protect us against damages to our cells. Some research shows that a high dose of vitamin E may delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in those who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Other benefits include improved symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Natural sources of vitamin E include canola oil, olive oil, almonds, peanuts, leafy greens such as spinach, some meats, and dairy.


Supplementation

Always speak with your doctor or medical practitioners before starting any vitamin supplement routine. Much of our vitamin nutrients can be gained through dietary changes and natural foods. There are some risks, especially with Vitamin E supplements that may actually increase the risk of certain diseases.


In conclusion, vitamin deficiency is just one of many concerns that affect older adults. Seniors are prone to a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be lessened with the help of medical professionals, and professional in-home caregivers who can provide meal preparation, medication reminders, or meal assistance.

If you or your elderly loved one requires assistance in these areas, contact us today at 613-769-1669 for information on how we can support you.


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#immunesupport #vitaminC #vitaminE #vitamins #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Mushroom Soup

One way to boost our immune system is by adding fruits and vegetables to our daily diet. This not only provides a well-balanced meal plan but also allows for a much-needed daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

Mushroom Soup

This delicious and easy recipe serves 4 and is rich in fibre, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 1 small carrot, shopped
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 pnion, sliced
  • 1/2 leek, chopped
  • 5 1/3 cups (500g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small parsnip, chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled, cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) vegetable stock
  • scant 1/2 cup (100ml) cream fraiche

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat the oil, and sauté the chopped onion and sliced leek for about 3 mins.
  2. Next, add washed and sliced mushrooms and fry for another 10 minutes stirring now and then.
  3. Add the carrot, parsnip and potato. Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for about 15 mins. until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Mix with a hand blender until smooth, add cream at the end
    and serve.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#immuneboosting #mushroom #recipe #wednesday #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Jan. 18: This Day in History

#Onthisday in history, we celebrate the achievements in television, sports, and the birthday of a beloved author of the Winnie-the-Pooh books – A.A. Milne!


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#history #January #conversationstarters #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Winter Polar Bear Craft

As we prepare for the colder snowy weather this winter, cozy up with this cute winter polar bear craft!

Please note** This activity has a number of pieces that should be prepared ahead of time especially if your elderly loved one or clients have difficulty with fine-motor skills or eye-hand coordination when using scissors and drawing.

Materials

  • White craft paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers or Coloured Pencils
  • Craft glue
  • Blue craft paper (for background)

Instructions

1 Using the white craft papaer and a pencil, draw 3 circles of different sizes for the body and face of the polar bear and 6 small circles for the ears, arms, and feet (see image below). Cut and set aside.

You may also trace objects, such as bottle lids/caps, to create “perfect” circles!

2 Arrange the body parts using the photo below as a guide and carefully glue each piece to secure them. At this time you may wish to glue the polar bear to the blue craft paper background.

3 Once the pieces have been secured with glue and your polar bear is mounted to the background paper, begin to decorate! Using a black marker or coloured pencil, colour in the bear’s feet, face, and ears and bring your character to life!

Be Creative! If you don’t want to use a black marker, try a different colour of your choice.

4 Now it’s time to design the background. Using markers or coloured pencils, decorate the background with snowflakes or use more craft paper to add different features!


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#winter #polarbear #craft #activitiesforseniors #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons#health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #mealsonwheels #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN