For seniors, brain health is more important than ever. While there is not currently a known way to completely keep cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay, many experts believe a healthy diet can be an important factor for many people who are at risk. Eating foods that boost brain health can also enhance memory, clarity, and focus. Encourage your senior loved one to eat as much as possible from the following list to maintain his or her brain health.
Avocados are packed with healthy fats that regulate blood sugar and inflammation, as well as vitamin K, which can prevent blood clots in the brain. The folate content in avocados is also good for memory. Avocados can be eaten plain, added to sandwiches, or even blended into smoothies.
Encourage your loved one to have some blueberries each day in yogurt, cereal, salad, or just as a snack. These tiny fruits are rich with gallic acid, which can prevent degeneration of the brain. Just like avocados, they are also packed with vitamin K.
It seems like broccoli is good for every part of the body, and this includes the brain. Not only does this cruciferous vegetable contain vitamin K, but it also offers plenty of choline, a nutrient that protects memory and detoxifies the body. Broccoli is easy to incorporate into soups and salads, or it can be steamed or baked for a delicious yet healthy side dish.
4. Coconut Oil
You’ve probably heard of all the health benefits coconut oil offers the rest of the body, but it can also prevent inflammation in the brain that may lead to issues like dementia. Encourage your loved one to use coconut oil in place of vegetable oils.
Kale gets a lot of hype for being a “superfood,” and it lives up to the hype when it comes to cognitive health. Studies have shown older adults who eat leafy greens like kale and spinach show slower cognitive decline compared to those who don’t. Just one cup of kale provides six times the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, as well as plenty of vitamin A, which is essential for neurological functioning.
When it comes to brain health, salmon tops the list of healthy foods to eat, so you or an El Cajon in-home caregiver may want to cook some salmon for your loved one at least once or twice a week. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to boost memory and clear up inflammation and brain fog. Studies have shown the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can also increase clarity and focus.
Throw a handful of walnuts into your loved one’s yogurt or salad each day, or encourage him or her to snack on them. These little nuts are full of vitamin E, which may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown seniors who eat walnuts daily may experience increased mental alertness.
8. Dark Chocolate
If your loved one enjoys chocolate, there’s no reason he or she can’t have it in moderation, particularly dark chocolate, which contains stimulants that increase concentration and alertness. As an added benefit, it could enhance your loved one’s mood.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains plenty of vitamin E, which can stave off Alzheimer’s disease by protecting the brain’s neurons as they start to die. Use olive oil whenever you cook for your loved one. You can also incorporate it easily into homemade salad dressings.
10. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is another food containing healthy fats that are good for brain health, but it also happens to be rich with vitamin E. As an added benefit, it’s good for the heart as well. Combine peanut butter with celery, another healthy brain food, for a delicious snack.
Seniors who are unable to prepare nutritious meals themselves can benefit greatly from professional home care. El Cajon families put their trust in Coast Care Partners for good reason. We hold our caregivers to a high standard because we believe seniors deserve exceptional care while aging in place. To learn more about our premier in-home care, call 619-354-2544 today.