According to Douglas County elder care professionals, the average senior takes about five medications per day, so it’s understandable to want to curb the need for added supplements and vitamins. One solution for achieving this goal is to take advantage of the lesser-known health benefits of common foods like garlic.
1. Natural Immune System Booster
Technically considered a vegetable bulb, garlic increases the amount of virus-fighting T-cells within the body, which can help your senior loved one avoid winter colds, which tend to last longer in people 65 and older. There’s also research suggesting that a daily dose of garlic may help ward off certain strains of the flu virus.
2. Good Source of Iodine
If your senior loved one is experiencing increased fatigue and weight gain, they may have an iodine deficiency. Fortunately, garlic is an excellent source of iodine, which can also help seniors with existing thyroid conditions.
3. Reduces ‘Bad’ Cholesterol
While citrus fruits get all the glory when it comes to vitamin C, garlic also has a substantial amount of vitamin C. Roughly 400mg of garlic per day may be enough to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in seniors, a plus for older loved ones at risk for developing heart disease.
4. Slows Mental Decline
For seniors with dementia-related conditions, B6 is among the vitamins that may help slow the mental decline that often occurs with such conditions. Garlic happens to be an excellent source of B6, which has also been shown to help control mood swings.
5. Better Blood Sugar Control
If your senior loved one is among the nearly 12 million seniors with diabetes, garlic may help with blood sugar control. If your senior loved one doesn’t want to regulate their glucose with raw gloves, garlic extract pills can provide similar benefits.
Too much garlic can result in adverse reactions, so it’s important not to go overboard with it. Crushing one or two pods and diluting the taste with a glass of water (or orange juice, believe it or not) each morning is a good way for your senior loved one to get the right daily amount.
If your aging parent could use a helping hand establishing healthy habits, preparing nutritious meals, or keeping up with doctors’ appointments, turn to Home Care Assistance. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we also offer Douglas County dementia care, stroke care, and Parkinson’s care. For more information, please give us a call at 720-287-1685 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.