Advocate for your health and longevity

Keeping ourselves healthy as we age has been a message heard often from health providers, dietitians and others who advocate for longevity.

Keeping ourselves healthy as we age has been a message we often hear from health providers, dietitians and others who advocate for longevity. Often times, it may confuse us to follow a new direction or to make some changes related to diet and exercise. However, adding just a little more movement and balancing our diet may help to get us going in a better direction.

With the fall season, many great vegetables can help us focus on health. A wide assortment of vegetables have high levels of potassium, which is essential in a balanced diet. The American Heart Association can provide guidance for us and offers information on this. Potassium is a necessary mineral that helps regulate our body’s fluids and matters greatly in regards to the nervous system and muscular function. Health providers will often mention that potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure.

So let’s determine which vegetables would fit in your diet to help maintain your health. Some will be available as fresh, others as dried, some require a little cooking. High potassium vegetables you should consider incorporating with your diet are acorn squash, sweet potato, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, mushrooms, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and parsnips. These cost-effective, potassium-rich foods can keep us healthy and may help lower the risk of stroke and help reduce blood pressure.

Michigan State University Extension has developed a program called Michigan Fresh that has a wide variety of fact sheets, which can explain how to use, store and cook with Michigan grown vegetables, fruits and other Michigan grown foods. Recipe cards are also available on this website. This fall and winter seasons try some of the comfort foods that Mother Nature has to offer. They are still available in Michigan and can brighten up your plate and help to balance your diet.

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