Whether from bumping into a table or an unexplained mishap, bruises are quite normal. In fact, bruising becomes more common as adults age. A bruise occurs when tiny blood vessels (called capillaries) burst and release blood into the surrounding tissues. They are caused by impact to the area, which can range from slight to extreme.
As humans age, blood vessel walls become thinner and more vulnerable to puncture. In addition, skin becomes thinner and less protective of the blood vessels close to the surface (this occurs especially in women). As a result, bruises occur more often and from lesser impacts. Even if bruises seem unavoidable, there may be a way to help the healing process.
In addition to the commonly known treatments for bruises like ice or heat therapy and elevation, natural substances quicken a bruise’s recovery. Foods rich in vitamins can help your blood clot faster and help protect your vessel walls from damage. Specifically, it is recommended to incorporate vitamin K for bruising into your diet. Foods containing vitamin K are good for blood clotting because it triggers the cascade that leads to clot formation and helps to strengthen the walls of the capillaries so they will be less prone to break in the future. Look for help from vitamins for thin skin and easy bruising, and know that green leafy vegetables contain the highest amounts of vitamin K.
For a meal packed with bruise-healing nutrients, try Sunrise’s signature Sausage, Kale & Lentil Salad recipe, which is rich in vitamin K and, of course, flavor!
Sausage, Kale & Lentil Salad
- Lump crab meat ½ lb.
- Celery ½ cup
- Mayonnaise ¼ cup
- Celery seed 2 tbsp.
- Parsley ½ tsp.
- Old Bay seasoning ¼ tsp.
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed/drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup turnips, peeled/diced ½”
- 1/2 cup fresh green beans, 1 ½” pieces
- 3 cups fresh kale, stemmed/chopped
- 1/4 red onion, julienned
- 8 oz. andouille smoked sausage, diced ½”
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 cup chive vinaigrette
- Place the lentil and bay leaf in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 3-4 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are just tender but still slightly firm. Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaf. Set aside.
- Blanch the turnips in boiling water just until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove and set aside.
Place the green beans on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with half the olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 12–15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Toss the kale with the remaining olive oil. Transfer to a sauté pan and cook over medium heat very quickly until only slightly wilted. Transfer the kale to a mixing bowl.
In the same sauté pan, add the diced andouille and cook over medium high heat for 3–5 minutes. Add the lentils to the sauté pan, stirring to incorporate. Sautéing until warmed, 1–2 minutes.
- Add the andouille and lentil mixture to the mixing bowl with the kale and half of the chive vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- To serve: Place the lentil mixture onto an appropriate bowl/plate. Top with reserved turnips, green beans, and red onion. Drizzle salad with the remaining chive vinaigrette and garnish with sunflower seeds.
Sunrise Senior Living prides itself on its healthy and tasteful dining options. Visit a community near you to learn more about what Sunrise has to offer.