If you’re looking for a great nutritional guide for your senior parent with Alzheimer’s, start with the MIND diet, which was developed by nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris from Rush University Medical Center. The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which have both been shown to boost cardiovascular health. Researchers believe the foods recommended in the diet can prevent the accumulation of the beta-amyloid proteins that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. However, the diet may also have the ability to slow the progression of the disease. Based on the recommendations in the MIND diet, here’s what you should include in a healthy meal plan for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.
The first meal of the day should include buckwheat, brown rice, oatmeal, or another whole grain. Whole grains are rich in B complex vitamins. Folic acid, B6, and B12 reduce brain tissue atrophy while enhancing overall function. Seniors are advised to get up to three servings of whole grains each day.
A bowl of hot cereal can be topped with berries. Berries are rich sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that crosses the blood-brain barrier and protects neurons from free radical damage. Berries also reduce inflammation and have been shown to enhance cognitive function. Breakfast can also include low-fat or fat-free milk and juice. Dairy products along with whole grains supply protein in addition to vitamin D and calcium.
Aging adults with cognitive and physical challenges can enjoy a higher quality of life with the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
For the noontime meal, seniors with Alzheimer’s can have a dish made with cooked poultry, which is leaner than red meat and supplies an abundance of protein. Poultry is also a rich source of vitamin B12 and the omega-3 fatty acids older adults often lack. Seniors can enjoy a poultry-based meal three or more times each week.
Accompany the dish with a salad using leafy dark green vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, or spinach. Greens are rich in calcium along with magnesium and tryptophan, which are essential for cognitive health. Add lycopene-rich tomatoes, which contain antioxidants along with plenty of vitamins A and C.
If you need help planning and preparing healthy meals for your loved one, a professional caregiver can be a great source of support. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Castle Rock home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Poultry and fish are ideal choices for the evening meal. Both are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12. If sautéing or frying foods, seniors need to use olive oil, which is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Another option is shellfish, which contains a high amount of zinc, a mineral that has been shown to prevent beta-amyloid protein accumulation in the hippocampus, preserving and boosting memory. Shellfish is also a good source of vitamin B12 and iron.
A side dish can include any brightly colored vegetable or combination of vegetables, which contain abundant antioxidants along with vitamins A and C. These vitamins are examples of other nutrients that prevent the accumulation of neuron-damaging proteins, and they’re also known to enhance cognitive function.
Popcorn, whole-grain crackers, and biscuits spread with nut butter are considered healthy snacks. Seniors can also enjoy a handful of fresh berries or nuts. Almonds in particular contain a wealth of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to address. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Castle Rock Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 720-580-5378.