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Help Vegan Seniors Get Enough B12 and Protein

Despite vegan diets being relatively rare among seniors, there is still a good portion of the elderly population who prefer a diet that is free of animal products. However, if your elderly relative is a vegan, he or she may be at an increased risk of failing to meet daily requirements of important nutrients, like protein and vitamin B12. To help ensure your senior loved one eats enough protein and B12, the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance in Redondo Beach suggest including the following foods into his or her diet.

1. Fortified Cereal with Soy Milk
Vitamin B12, essential for a healthy central nervous system and for preventing anemia, is often lacking in vegan diets. Most fortified breakfast cereals, however, are an excellent way for your loved one to boost their B12 intake. Bran and multi-grain cereals, like Bran Flakes and Cheerios, are typically very high in B12. Your family member can also boost the B12 content of his or her cereal by topping with fortified soymilk.

2. Black Beans
Loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent inflammation and cell damage, black beans are among the healthiest of all the beans. Even a mere half-cup serving of black beans will provide your loved one with eight grams of protein. Since beans are a versatile food, you or a 24-hour caregiver in Redondo Beach can easily add beans to a salad, use them as a filling for a burrito, or mash them to create a black bean burger.

3. Quinoa
An ancient, gluten-free grain, Quinoa (keen-wah) is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, and fiber. With one cup of quinoa containing eight grams of protein, mixing this grain with black beans can make for a flavorful protein boost. Since you can use in casseroles, as burrito filling, or for a stir-fry, this protein-filled option is a great alternative to rice.

4. Broccoli
Encourage your loved one to add broccoli to their meal for a protein and B12 combo. As one-cup serving contains four grams of protein as well as lots of vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, and fiber, broccoli is a great addition to casseroles, soups, and stir-fries. You may even try using shredded broccoli stems and carrots in coleslaw.

5. Hummus
A dip made from pureed chickpeas and tahini, hummus is packed with protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which are each critical for a healthy immune system, cell growth, and preventing anemia. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors and makes an excellent spread on sandwiches or as a dip. 

If your elderly loved one could use some extra assistance preparing vegan meals, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers can provide assistance with a variety of everyday tasks to help promote senior health and wellness, including preparing healthy meals and providing mobility assistance. In addition to our general senior care services, we also provide specialized care for seniors with mobility challenges, including post-stroke and Parkinson’s care in Redondo Beach. For more information about how our senior care services support senior wellness, give an experienced Care Manager a call at (310) 504-0506 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.