Eating a healthy diet can help seniors reduce their risk for chronic conditions, strengthen bones and muscles, regulate body processes and provide energy. However, did you know that the foods you eat can also help keep your brain active? Seniors can boost and maintain their brain power by adding these 5 foods into their daily diets:
- Blueberries have been found to protect the brain from oxidative stress. As a result, this tasty fruit may lessen the effects of cognitive conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also demonstrated blueberries have significant improvements on both motor skills and learning capacity. Senior care specialists recommend that older adults try to add at least one cup of blueberries per day into their diet, whether they be fresh or frozen.
- Avocados are nearly as good as blueberries for boosting brain health. Although it is a fatty fruit, the fat is monounsaturated which helps with a healthy blood flow to the brain. In addition, avocados aid in lowering blood pressure and alleviating hypertension, common conditions which can threaten a senior’s cognitive abilities. Since avocados have a high amount of calories, it is recommended that seniors only add a half of an avocado or less as a side dish to one daily meal.
- Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E, which helps to maintain the brain functions for learning and perception. Some of the most vitamin rich nuts include walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seed. In addition, peanut butter, almond butter and other non hydrogenated nut butters are great sources of vitamin E.
- Salmon is incredibly rich with omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are necessary for brain function. In addition, these fatty acids have anti-inflammatory substances. Because many aches and pains and types of diseases are caused by excessive inflammation within the tissues and organs, eating the recommended 4 oz serving of salmon one-two times a week can play a role in maintaining optimal health.
- Whole grain foods, such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain breads, reduce the risk of heart disease. This essentially promotes a healthy blood flow to the brain. Seniors should have a significant portion of whole grains on a daily basis, including a half cup of whole grain cereal each day and a slice of bread several times per day.
A healthy diet is just one of the components of Home Care Assistance’s unique approach to care, The Balanced Care Method™. Learn the other ways in which we promote total wellness for our senior clients by visiting our website at www.homecareassistancevancouver.ca or contact a Care Manager directly at 778-279-3634.