Eating healthy foods full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can keep seniors in good mental and physical shape as they age. However, eating foods that contain harmful toxins and unhealthy ingredients can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and some cancers. Below are the top reasons your elderly parent should follow a healthy diet.
1. Increases Energy
The foods older adults eat have an impact on their energy levels. For instance, items full of sugar could lower your loved one’s metabolism and increase the risk of inactivity. Your parent should consume energy-boosting foods such as tuna, salmon, eggs, and pumpkin seeds. These items are packed with protein and stimulate the body’s serotonin production. As a result, your loved one will sleep better at night and have more energy throughout the day.
2. Strengthens Immunity
Every part of your loved one’s body, including the immune system, can function better if he or she adopts healthy eating habits. Robust immune systems rely on nourishment to protect older adults from harmful toxins and bacteria. Seniors who are malnourished are more susceptible to infectious diseases as they grow older. However, proper nutrition can help aging adults fight infection risks in their environments.
A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating a more nutritious diet. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust senior care experts in University Park home care to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
3. Boosts Bone Health
Foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals support bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Healthy eating habits can also increase balance and flexibility, lowering the risk of falls as well as traumas, infections, and various diseases such as Parkinson’s. Leafy green vegetables, tofu, beverages containing calcium, and various low-fat dairy products are the best options when seniors want to increase their bone density.
4. Staves Off Memory Loss
Following a nutritious diet plan can protect the body against the buildup of beta-amyloids, which are proteins associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. Poor eating habits also affect the health of blood vessels and increase the odds of a memory-damaging stroke. However, a healthy diet boosts cognitive health.
5. Lowers the Risk of Hypertension
High blood pressure can lead to stroke, vision impairment, kidney failure, heart disease, and other serious health issues. Eating foods such as blueberries, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, whole grains, dark chocolate, and kiwifruit can reduce blood pressure. As a result, circulation increases, preventing the heart from working overtime.
6. Prevents Depression
Diets high in carbohydrates increase symptoms of fatigue and depression in older adults. The good news is whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can lower your loved one’s glycemic load and stave off depression. Make sure your loved one avoids foods made with sugar and white flour.
Family caregivers need to maintain healthy lifestyles too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In University Park, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
7. Boosts Oral Health
A large percentage of seniors have untreated cavities that lead to tooth loss. The foods older adults consume can also increase their risk of periodontal disease. However, healthy eating habits can lower the risk of dry mouth, cavities, and other health problems. Your loved one’s diet should include low-fat dairy products, fatty fish, leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits to keep his or her teeth strong in the senior years.
A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a terrific asset for seniors who are adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare services. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400.