Seniors with Alzheimer’s may not remember to eat, and at times they may not seem to have much of an appetite. However, the right diet provides a combination of nutrients that can enhance brain health and inhibit further neuronal damage. The Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) and DASH diets include a selection of specific foods proven to benefit the brain. These diets offer a wide choice of food groups to create delicious and healthy meals.
Dark Leafy Greens – 6 Servings Per Week
Arugula, collard, kale, mustard greens, and spinach contain vitamin B9, which seems to increase cognition and memory in seniors. Vitamin B9 also prevents depression. Dark greens contain vitamin E that protects brain tissue from inflammation and oxidative stress, which is commonly seen in seniors with Alzheimer’s.
If your aging loved one needs assistance with meal preparation and managing other daily activities, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Douglas County in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Cruciferous and Other Vegetables – Once Daily
Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower contain vitamin B9 along with carotenoids. These compounds are known to lower the levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been associated with cognitive decline. Carrots, tomatoes, and other bright-colored vegetables also offer an abundance of nutrients.
Beans – 3 Servings Per Week
Legumes are a wonderful source of iron, magnesium, and potassium, in addition to vitamin B9 and choline. Choline boosts levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is necessary for proper brain function.
Berries and Cherries – 2 or More Servings Per Week
Red, blue, and purple fruits contain anthocyanin. This phytochemical compound protects delicate brain tissue from inflammation, oxidative stress, and radiation damage. Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries are also a great source of fiber along with vitamins C and E.
Fish – 2 to 3 Servings Per Week
Herring, salmon, and sardines belong to the oily fish category. Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which keep the brain in optimal working condition. These nutrients also inhibit brain lesion development.
Nuts – 5 Times Per Week
Choose from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. Each small handful of nuts provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as vitamins B6, B9, E, and magnesium. These compounds inhibit memory loss while acting as mood enhancers. Flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are other alternatives that provide similar nutrients.
Professional caregivers can help seniors maintain their health and wellbeing and stave off cognitive decline. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Douglas County, Colorado, 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.
Whole Grains – 3 or More Servings Daily
Brown rice, oatmeal, wheat germ, and whole-grain breads are high in fiber and provide vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for cardiovascular health. By increasing blood circulation, the brain has a better chance of receiving the nutrients it needs to function properly.
The curcumin in the common spice turmeric has been shown to interfere with the accumulation of beta-amyloid, and it also destroys existing plaques. Additionally, the compound turmerone encourages new neuron development while enhancing memory. However, unless consumed daily in abundance, seniors with Alzheimer’s receive little benefit. Researchers recommend taking one to three grams of pure curcumin extract in three divided doses each day.
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. Douglas County, CO, 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. To create a care plan for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 720-580-5378 today.