Post-stroke lifestyle habits play a big role in how well a senior stroke survivor is able to return to a routine that’s normal and comfortable. Being proactive about things such as exercise and diet can reduce the risk of experiencing another stroke. For instance, eating the right foods can provide both short-term and long-term benefits. That being said, let’s put the spotlight on six things senior stroke survivors can and should eat.
1. Fish Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish can boost or restore cognitive functions in senior stroke survivors by facilitating brain cell regeneration. Fish rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that can make tasty meals for older stroke survivors include:
• Arctic char
If your loved one needs help planning and preparing healthy meals, a professional caregiver can be a great source of support. In Vancouver, senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Multiple studies suggest beneficial plant pigments in blueberries called flavonoids may enhance some cognitive abilities. Senior stroke survivors could benefit because flavonoids positively affect signaling pathways in cells and boost the production of a type of protein in the brain that helps with nerve connections (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF). Blueberries can be enjoyed as:
• A standalone snack
• An ingredient in a delicious smoothie
• A topping on oatmeal or salads
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects cells, including cells in a brain already affected by a stroke. There’s research suggesting lycopene may also reduce the risk of brain damage in stroke survivors. Additionally, it may ease inflammation in the brain and prevent the type of clotting that could contribute to another stroke.
While there are lycopene supplements, a tastier way to reap the benefits of this antioxidant is to enjoy tomatoes in the following ways:
• Sliced raw as a tasty treat
• In tomato soup (without sugar)
• On a healthy sandwich with a lean meat such as turkey breast
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Vancouver, BC, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
4. Protein-Rich Foods
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, eating more protein-rich foods reduces stroke risk in older adults. For senior stroke survivors with diabetes, a diet that includes protein-rich foods can also reduce the risk of having another stroke by naturally lowering blood sugar levels. Healthy sources of protein include:
• Chicken breast (without the skin) and lean beef
• Greek (strained) yogurt
Grey matter is the region of the brain that controls many of the functions that tend to be affected by a stroke, including speech, memory, perception, and muscle control. Avocados contain a fatty acid called oleic acid, which helps the brain process information in the grey matter region. Senior stroke survivors can enjoy avocados on sandwiches or toasted bread, on top of morning eggs, or in smoothies and salads.
6. Foods Included in the MIND Diet
The MIND diet combines elements of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, which are often recommended for protection against the types of degenerative nerve diseases that sometimes contribute to strokes. The MIND diet is a brain-healthy diet that’s easy to follow for senior stroke survivors. It includes:
• Green leafy veggies
• Whole grains and beans
• Nuts and berries
• Wine (in moderation)
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to learn more about our customized care plans.