Cognitive health is absolutely vital for seniors to have the best possible quality of life as they age. Keeping their brains sharp and reducing cognitive decline is high on the priority list for most aging adults. There are lots of different variables that affect cognitive health, like family history, but nutrition can offer a boost. Having help from senior home care services can make some of these changes easier to manage.
Eat a Balanced Diet with a Mix of Nutrients
Seniors can try eating specific diets, like the Mediterranean Diet, but that might not be necessary. Aiming for a mix of healthy foods with plenty of nutrients might just be enough. That means including a variety of fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and healthy fats. Add in lean protein and that should offer a well-rounded and balanced diet. Seniors should ask their doctors before they make big changes to their diets, and it might be a good idea to get cooking help from home care providers.
Add Plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health. They’re found in walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital in neurotransmission, so eating plenty of these healthy fats can slow cognitive decline and boost brain function. Adding nuts and seeds to meals is an easy way to access these fatty acids, but make fish a part of the weekly menu, too.
Load Up on Berries
Berries are full of antioxidants, which help to improve cognitive function. Berries also reduce inflammation and help brain cells to communicate with each other more easily. That means good things for the brain. Adding a variety of berries, either fresh, frozen, or canned, can add a lot of flavor to daily meals, too. There are tons of different ways to add berries to meals, making them an easy nutrient booster.
Add Some Healthy Spices
Adding a variety of different spices to meals is a great way to add flavor without adding too much salt. Some spices, like garlic and turmeric, are also anti-inflammatory. Adding more healthy spices doesn’t just boost taste, it can also have fantastic health benefits.
Ditch the Alcohol
Alcohol doesn’t have to be the bad guy all the time, but unfortunately, it is the bad guy more often than not. The key to keeping alcohol around is moderation. That means one or two drinks a week. Even with the antioxidant benefits of wine, the other ways that it can negatively impact brain and body health mean that it may not be worth the risk.
Hydrate as Much as Possible
Water is always important when talking about any type of health. The brain needs plenty of water in order to function properly. Being dehydrated can cause cognitive deficits, mood changes, and even affects memory. Sipping plenty of water throughout the day can be enough to get what the brain and the body need.
Making some of these changes slowly over time might be just what seniors need to do in order to keep them a regular part of their everyday diet. Senior home care providers can help with meal preparation and even shopping so that it’s easier to stick with the new habits.