Assisted Living Locators March 2022 Blog
Brain Food for Seniors
Many seniors suffer from memory loss in the latter part of their years. Although most diseases that affect the brain like Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured, seniors can adopt some precautionary measures to help boost their brain health. One such way is by eating healthy brain food.
It is no news that a healthy diet contributes to the general health of the body. More so, eating nutritious diets help reduce the risk of cognitive decline in seniors. According to recent studies, seniors who consumed nutritious diets had lower cognitive decline risks by 25% compared to those who consumed low healthy diets.
Furthermore, healthy foods affect cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular risk factors, which are important mechanisms for reducing the risk of memory loss in seniors. Here is a list of the top Brain foods for seniors- arranged in no particular order-that can boost memory retention, especially for seniors suffering from memory decline and loss.
According to studies conducted by a team of researchers, salmon contain nutrients that slow down cognitive decline. Salmon and other fish products like halibut, sardines, and tuna contain high proportions of omega-3-fatty acids, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is known to be one of the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain.
Green tea contains a substance called caffeine, which is known to boost brain function. It improves general performance, alertness, focus, and memory retention. Green tea also contains other components that make it good brain food for seniors. One such component is L-theanine, an amino acid that increases GABA activities in the brain, thus helping you feel relaxed and reduce anxiety. It also increases the frequency of alpha rays in the brain, helping you relax without feeling tired. Green tea also contains antioxidants and polyphenols that protect the brain from mental decline and reduce Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research reveals that eating walnuts helps improve heart function. Having a healthy heart is synonymous with having a healthy brain. Walnuts contain nutrients that help avoid neurodegenerative diseases and improve cognition. Another study showed that women who consume walnuts regularly over the years, have sharper memories during their old age compared to those who don’t.
Walnuts contain nutrients such as vitamin E, antioxidants, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients that are beneficial to the brain’s health. Vitamin E prevents cell membranes from radical damage and further slow-down mental decline.
Blueberries contain nutrients that boost brain function. One of such compounds is anthocyanins, a class of plant nutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Most of the antioxidants found in blueberries accumulate in the brain and improve brain cells’ communication and sensitivity. They also act against conditions that increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and brain aging.
The egg is an excellent source of nutrients such as choline, folate, vitamins B6 and B12, known to improve brain function. Choline contains acetylcholine, which helps to regulate mood and improve memory retention. High levels of choline in the brain is associated with better memory function and memory.
One of the easiest ways to get choline is by eating eggs. Egg yolk is the most significant source of this nutrient. Egg also contains B vitamins, which help to slow down the mental decline in elders. Low levels of B vitamins in the body is associate with depression in seniors.
Many foods can help to keep your brain healthy. Some of the foods listed above contain antioxidants that help prevent memory loss. You can improve seniors’ brain health and boost their mood, memory, and alertness by deliberately including these foods in their diets.
Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
As we age, our nutritional requirements naturally change as well. Since March is National Nutrition Month, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how to improve your overall well-being during retirement. It is beneficial to know exactly what you should be choosing to eat. Here’s what you need to know about your changing dietary requirements.
Eat more frequently
Smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day keep you energized and satisfied. This method of eating helps prevent unwanted weight loss, as it gets you in the habit of eating more food over an extended period of time. Try snacking on meal replacement bars or enjoy a fresh smoothie for a quick snack. You should be eating every 2-3 hours if you decide to incorporate this into your diet.
Use more spices
As people age, their sense of taste and smell may slowly decline. Using more spices not only helps add some flavor to seemingly bland food, but it also assists with digestion and provides additional nutritional value to the meal. Try a standard chicken dish with chipotle seasoning to jazz up its taste and clear your sinuses while getting a good amount of much-needed protein.
Increase your protein intake
Speaking of protein, it’s important for seniors to up their intake as they grow older. The decrease in stomach acid that’s typically seen throughout the aging process is one of the major reasons why protein becomes more important as you age. The body needs protein to generate acid for digestion. Foods like chicken, fish, nuts and legumes are great choices for a well-balanced diet.
Choose foods that help with digestion
The decline of stomach acid production makes digestion more challenging for seniors. In addition to adding more spice to your meal, opt for foods that are known to aid digestion and settle upset stomachs. We recommend sauerkraut, vinegar and coffee. For additional stomach relief, add ginger to your meal or sip on ginger tea.
It’s never too late to kick a bad habit. Not only is smoking harmful to your physical health, but it also further curbs your appetite and dulls your sense of taste, which can exacerbate existing medical conditions and reduce your enjoyment of food.For more tips on healthy aging, contact your local advisor!
Families sometimes struggle with behaviors in seniors that make it difficult for them to live in any group situation – and even live with family. Sometimes difficult behavior connects to one form of dementia or another. With others, though, seniors experience psychiatric problems that are separate from the degenerative brain condition producing the dementia. Extreme anxiety and depression are two examples of these psychiatric problems that may or may not be associated with dementia. A full workup by a neurologist can sometimes help tease out the distinctions between the psych and the dementia, and sometimes one or another of the problems can be at least modestly helped by medication. Don’t assume that everything is related to dementia, old age, or some psychiatric condition. Let an experienced Assisted Living Locators advisor sort it out!