A healthy diet can have positive effects beyond physical well-being for seniors—it may also delay the onset of conditions like dementia. Just as studies have shown that the risk of developing cancer and other illnesses can be reduced with proper diet, the same could be true for dementia. Recent studies indicate that a diet rich in nutrients such as antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and certain vitamins may help reduce the risk of dementia and memory loss. Here is a look at the benefits of some of these key nutrients:
Antioxidants – Over time, free radicals build up in the body and can damage important cells and tissues, eventually leading to the breakdown of certain body processes. Antioxidants, which can be found in many different berries including cherries and blueberries, can help to fight free radical damage by removing these harmful substances from the blood while enhancing the body’s ability to fight the signs of aging such as memory loss.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3s are found in oily fish, nuts, olive oil, flax seeds, chia seeds and other foods. These fatty acids are known to help brain development in babies and children and continue to be a source of proper brain function throughout adulthood. Salmon, herring and white tuna are especially powerful for aiding declining memory.
Flavonoids – Flavonoids are found in plants and can help keep the brain healthy. These important nutrients, similar to antioxidants, can be found in the same berries as antioxidants as well as onions, lima beans, peas and spinach.
Diets rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and Omega-3 fatty acids can all help seniors find a higher quality of living, especially when combined with physical exercise and cognitive exercises that improve brain function and memory. An in-home care provider can help ensure that all of a senior’s needs are being met to ensure optimal health for years to come.