The foods seniors eat can have a significant impact on their brain health and cognitive abilities. Some foods boost brain function, and some can damage it. Because dementia can be challenging to manage, it’s important for family caregivers to help their aging loved ones make healthy decisions that can delay the onset of cognitive decline.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Plano families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Here is a closer look at some brain-boosting foods that can stave off dementia.
The healthy fats and antioxidants found in nuts can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that can increase the odds of developing dementia. Seniors should eat nuts at least five times per week, especially walnuts, as they provide minerals and antioxidants that nourish the brain and protect it from dementia.
2. Pumpkin and Squash
When not overcooked, eating these two vegetables can protect your loved one’s memory and stave off dementia. Both pumpkin and squash contain folate, iron, and vitamin A, which are nutrients that promote cognition. Squash and pumpkin are also full of antioxidants that fight against free radicals in the brain.
3. Leafy Greens
The folate and vitamin B9 in leafy greens can protect against cognitive conditions such as memory loss, enhance mood, and prevent many of the symptoms associated with dementia.
Some of the best types of leafy greens for promoting brain health include:
• Mustard and collard greens
4. Whole Grains
Rye bread, gluten-free oats, and foods made with kamut and quinoa are some of the healthiest types of whole grains for seniors to eat. These brain-boosting foods reduce inflammation and prevent plaque buildup in the brain, two common causes of memory loss. Whole grains also control blood sugar levels, which is another way to stave off dementia.
Expertly trained caregivers can also take measures to delay cognitive decline in seniors. Plano, TX, dementia care professionals can help your loved one manage the symptoms of dementia. Though mental stimulation is a key component of dementia care, it’s also important to encourage seniors to socialize regularly, eat nutritious foods, exercise, and focus on other healthy lifestyle factors.
Beans are low in fat and calories, and they are also high in fiber and protein, which can help your loved one’s mind remain sharp and stimulated. The healthiest types of beans for seniors to eat include:
• Black beans
• Kidney beans
These brain-boosting fruits fight against harmful toxins, and they also contain antioxidants and flavonoids that protect seniors from inflammation and oxidation, which are two processes that negatively affect the brain. Your loved one should incorporate blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries into his or her diet at least twice a week. Blueberries are the ideal option because they contain more minerals and flavonoids than other berries.
7. Olive Oil
All your loved one’s food should be cooked with olive oil instead of butter or canola oil. Olive oil is a healthy fat that keeps gray matter in the brain running smoothly, and it also lowers inflammation and fights against oxidative stress, two things that have been linked to dementia. Olive oil also prevents depression and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Brain-boosting foods such as these can also be helpful in staving off Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Plano Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. For more information on our premier memory care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (214) 586-0120 today.