The foods your elderly loved one eats can play a vital role in his or her life, including the brain’s response to Alzheimer’s treatment. Encourage your loved one to follow a healthy diet that combats the effects of the disease instead of speeding up its progression. The experienced, compassionate professionals from Coast Care Partners, premier providers of El Cajon in-home care, offer these healthy meal options for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
Eating plant-based meals can lower blood pressure and enhance blood lipid profiles. A vegan diet doesn’t include meats, which are high in nitrates that can cause Alzheimer’s to worsen. Consuming more vegetables and nutrient-rich foods can promote cognitive vitality. Since meats aren’t a part of this diet, your loved one needs to find ways to get the omega-3 fatty acids his or her mind and body need, which can be achieved by eating foods such as beans, flaxseed, seaweed, walnuts, chia seeds, and edamame.
Consuming cakes, cookies, sodas, sweet teas, and other sugary items can be harmful to your loved one’s health. Foods full of sugar decrease cell growth and make Alzheimer’s more severe. The excess sugar causes inflammation levels in the hippocampus—the brain’s memory center—to increase, and when it’s damaged, your loved one may have difficulty making decisions. Too much sugar can also lead to cellular stress that disrupts social behavior. Instead of consuming sugary foods and beverages, your loved one should follow a sugar-free diet. He or she can eat foods that have natural sugars, such as fruits. Your loved one should also check the labels when purchasing snacks, beverages, and meals in the store, opting for sugar-free and low-fat items.
Seniors who follow a paleo diet generally have lower risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are conditions that indirectly cause Alzheimer’s to worsen. By following a paleo diet, your loved one’s meals will contain plenty of herbs, healthy oils, fish, lean meats, nuts, spices, fruits, and vegetables. Dairy products, trans fats, and vegetable oils are avoided when following a paleo diet, which can prevent brain cell damage, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the disease, such as behavioral problems, confusion, and depression.
The Mediterranean diet is typically full of fruits, vegetables, oily fish, and cereals. It doesn’t use saturated fats, so it can boost brain function, especially short-term memory and critical thinking skills. The diet also promotes physical activity, which is good for the brain. Even a few hours of exercise each week can boost cognitive abilities and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. Keep in mind that many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease continue doing regular tasks and living independently in the early stages, so the better your loved one’s diet and other lifestyle choices are, the longer he or she can remain independent.
Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, even for the most well-prepared families. Fortunately, the team at Coast Care Partners is here to help. For reliable Alzheimer’s and dementia home care, El Cajon families can rely on Coast Care Partners. We are a leading provider of professional home care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. Call us today at 619-354-2544 to learn how we can help your loved one age in place in safety and comfort.