Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and this disorder can bring a senior’s life to a grinding halt within a matter of years. While doctors can do quite a bit to treat and mitigate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, there’s still no permanent cure, which is why older adults should be doing everything in their power to reduce their risk of this form of dementia, and that includes making some sweeping changes to their dietary habits. Here’s a look at how certain foods and beverages could potentially stave off Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders.
Root Causes of Alzheimer’s
Before delving into the connection between dietary habits and Alzheimer’s, it’s important to understand exactly what this cognitive disorder does to the brain. Most researchers now agree Alzheimer’s is the result of certain proteins building up within the brain. A healthy brain should naturally be able to flush away those proteins, but there may come a point where the proteins clump together into plaques. Over time, these plaques could damage the synapses as well as the brain cells themselves. That damage often results in memory loss, mood changes, and many of the other symptoms now associated with Alzheimer’s.
Flavonoids & Dementia
According to Dr. Paul Jacques, a senior scientist at the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, flavonoids could have a major impact on cognitive health. A flavonoid is a key nutrient that can be found in many types of food, and some researchers believe it might reduce inflammation in the brain. While flavonoids are in a variety of different foods and ingredients, concentrated doses can be found in red wine, tea, berries, and certain fruits. As a general rule, fresh fruits and vegetables tend to have the most flavonoids.
Planning and preparing nutritious meals can be challenging for some seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service. Highland Park Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
What Research Has Revealed
In 1970, a team of researchers began a long-term study to determine what impacts an individual’s risk of Alzheimer’s. The study was only recently completed, and it has shown eating certain foods could affect brain health. Over the course of the study, the researchers followed 2,800 participants and found those who ate flavonoid-rich foods tended to have lower rates of Alzheimer’s. Even though the study isn’t conclusive, it has shown there might be some type of link between flavonoids and dementia-related disorders.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one with grocery shopping and preparing nutritious meals that can prevent a variety of age-related conditions. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. You 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.
Other Dietary Changes
Eating foods that contain flavonoids is a great start, but seniors should make sure they’re eating other nutrient-dense foods as well. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s is to follow a healthy diet. Most older adults will benefit from a diet that focuses on fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, lean sources of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Seniors should also avoid sweeteners, trans fats, and any other foods or ingredients that could potentially cause brain inflammation.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, compassionate help is just a phone call away. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Highland Park seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (214) 363-3400 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.