For aging adults like the residents at Towne Club Windermere, nutrition is a key to maintaining physical and mental wellness. Healthy living can lower an individual’s risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. While the National Institute of Health says that there is insufficient evidence to show that food can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, balanced nutrition can improve physical health. The following foods are a great source of the nutrients necessary for seniors to enjoy proper mental functioning as they age.
Tuna, salmon and similar fish are high in DHA and omega-3 fatty acids. These chemicals help to maintain regular functioning of the brain. Fish are also lower in artery-clogging fats than red meat, which provides a slew of cardiovascular benefits.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that help prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can become a problem as we age, so blueberries may help with age-related medical problems like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Oils, Nuts and Whole Grains
Research shows that foods that are high in vitamin E can help prevent neurons in the brain from dying. Vitamin E can be found in oils, nuts and whole grains. Since Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the death of neurons in the brain, a diet rich in oil-based salad dressings, nuts and grains can ensure that individuals consume enough vitamin E.
Avocados are amazing for mental health because they are high in monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats stimulate blood flow to the brain, and lowers blood pressure. Both benefits can help to boost overall brain health, so don’t hesitate to indulge in that bowl of guacamole.
For optimal nutrition, aging adults should eat plenty of dark, green, leafy vegetables. Kale, broccoli and spinach are all excellent sources of folate and vitamin E. Although scientists are not sure how folate protects the brain, research suggests that this nutrient lowers the amount of homocysteine in the blood. Since homocysteine can cause nerve cells to die, lower levels of this chemical promote mental health.
Studies show that drinking two or three cups of hot tea per day can enhance an individual’s mood, memory and focus. In addition, tea has a type of antioxidant known as catechines that boosts blood flow. When consumed in moderation, the caffeine in the tea can improve an individual’s ability to focus and stay alert.
For another source of brain-boosting vitamin E, individuals can turn to sunflower seeds. A single ounce of these seeds provides 30 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. They can be sprinkled on a salad or eaten as a snack for a quick vitamin E boost.
Healthy living is important for every age group. For the residents at Towne Club Windermere, optimal nutrition can help to slow the progress of mental illnesses and ensure excellent physical health.
For more information concerning our healthcare programs and the services offered at Towne Club Windermere, please contact us today.