It’s important that seniors living with dementia consume a balanced diet in addition to receiving nutrients that can slow the progress of cognitive decline. Following are ten nutritious foods you can prepare for a senior loved one with dementia.
1. Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes offer a wealth of vital nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for the production and retention of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These foods are also a great source of protein, which helps aging adults maintain optimal skin, bone, and muscle health.
Beans also keep blood sugar levels balanced, reduce cholesterol, and boost satiety. The widely varied bean family includes chickpeas, lentils, and black-eyed peas as well as savory bean varieties such as pinto, navy, black, and kidney.
Soybeans are one of the most unique legumes. Soy is a source of all nine of the essential amino acids as well as vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol-lowering fiber. There are a wealth of options to choose from when you want to add soy to your loved one’s diet, including tofu, edamame, tempeh, pudding, and soy milk and butter.
2. Berries & Cherries
These fruits harbor anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that protect delicate brain cells from further damage.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale all contain carotenoids and folate. Together, these compounds reduce levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid associated with cognitive malfunction.
It may be challenging to monitor your loved one’s diet as closely as you’d like. Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Columbia families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and spinach all contain high amounts of complex B vitamins, which are recognized as being necessary for neuron communication. Adequate amounts of folate and B9 also enhance cognitive function and mood.
5. Garlic & Onions
The chemical compounds in these vegetables have potent anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being antimicrobial.
Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and other varieties of nuts contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with B vitamins, vitamin E, and magnesium. These nutrients can elevate mood and stave off age-related memory loss. One serving of nuts equals 24 almonds, 35 peanuts, 14 walnut halves, 12 hazelnuts, or 47 pistachios.
7. Salmon & Sardines
These fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of plaque and lesion development in the brain. Flaxseeds and olive oil are alternative sources of these essential nutrients.
Seeds are packed with nutrition. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds in particular provide choline, vitamin E, and zinc, which act as antioxidants. Other potent seeds include flaxseeds, sunflower, and sesame. You can also add chia seeds to yogurt, pudding, and oatmeal. For a healthy snack, serve your loved one whole-grain crackers spread with sesame butter.
Acorn, pumpkin, and summer squash are some of the varieties of common vegetables that are rich in vitamin A, B vitamins, and iron, all of which boost neuron function. Other options that provide similar nutrients include beets, carrots, and tomatoes.
Cinnamon, cumin, sage, and turmeric have all been shown to reduce inflammation and interfere with plaque formation. Certain compounds in turmeric may help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s by promoting stem cell repair in the brain.
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. Assisting Hands Home Care is a leading Columbia home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at 443-233-1245.