Antioxidants are minerals, vitamins, and proteins that play a role in chemical reactions that protect the body against damage. Selenium, vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene are all examples of antioxidants, and they’re found in abundance in produce, nuts, and whole grains. Antioxidants offer the following benefits for older adults.
Combats Free Radicals & Oxidative Stress
Over time, cells and tissues endure oxidative stress that occurs when they’re exposed to oxygen molecules with uneven numbers of electrons or unpaired electrons. These oxygen molecules are known as free radicals. The unstable molecules travel throughout the body while attempting to stabilize by getting rid of the unpaired electrons or taking electrons from other molecules. When free radicals succeed in stabilizing, cells are damaged, age prematurely, and die. Oxidative stress is the reason fruit turns brown, oils turn rancid, and iron rusts.
Free radicals are naturally present in the body and the environment. They develop when the body experiences inflammation, and they occur naturally as a result of metabolism and respiration. Consumption of alcoholic beverages, exposure to pollutants, sunlight, and X-rays are other means by which free radicals form.
Damage caused by free radicals is irreversible, accumulates over time, and commonly leads to various diseases and medical conditions. However, when seniors consume foods that are rich in antioxidants, they ensure free radical levels remain low, which minimizes potential damage.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
The results of a study published in a 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association explained the connection between antioxidants and the immune system. The study involved a group of adults aged 65 and older. Some of the participants received 60 milligrams of vitamin E daily. Another part of the group received 200 milligrams of the nutrient daily. After four months, the seniors receiving 60 to 200 milligrams of vitamin E had boosted their natural immunity by up to sixfold.
Various studies have demonstrated older men taking combinations of beta-carotene, selenium, and other vitamins have fewer incidences of colon, lung, prostate, and skin cancer. Some researchers theorize that men may have lower blood levels of the necessary nutrients, which puts them at higher risk for developing malignancies.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Castle Rock, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Protects the Eyes
A 2001 study evaluating eye diseases determined that certain antioxidants protect the vision of older adults. One group of seniors took daily supplements containing 15 milligrams of beta-carotene, 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and 80 milligrams of zinc. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) spanned six years and determined older adults who regularly consumed antioxidants had lower incidences of macular degeneration compared to members of a control group who received placebos. The adults taking supplements also had lower rates of visual acuity loss.
Vision impairment is just one of the many health issues adults experience as they age. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Castle Rock families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 720-580-5378 today.