A good diet is a necessity for healthy senior living. As the body changes through aging, it’ll need a little extra fuel and nutrition to thrive. It’s no surprise that an unhealthy diet is a root cause of many diseases, such as osteoporosis and diabetes, in older individuals.
Fatty foods and other unhealthy choices have known links to cancer of the prostate, colon and pancreas. Degenerative disease is also grouped in there when diets lack the proper micronutrients. With that being said, let’s dive into seven smart food choices that can improve your health and keep you happy.
Flaxseed, soybean, nuts
These foods, and others such as tuna, salmon and walnuts, are rich with omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acid can relieve inflammation, a major cause of arthritis, some cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, experts say these foods can also reduce the progression of macular degeneration, which can affect your eyesight. A diet rich with omega-3 fatty acids may also combat the risks of dementia. It’s the ultimate brain food.
Nutritionists say eating three servings a week will suffice. Don’t forget the value of supplements in your diet. Make sure to consult your doctor first, however.
Foods packed with calcium
Everyone knows that calcium and strong bones go hand in hand, but there are other benefits to a calcium-rich diet. Along with its bone-strengthening properties, calcium will also help with hypertension.
For whatever reason, statistics show that as people age, they will consume less calcium. It’s a little counterintuitive since the need for calcium increases as people age.
Remember, not getting enough calcium means bones will not be able to absorb it to build strength and resiliency. Without the right amount of calcium, your bones are at risk and are more vulnerable to injury and disease such as osteoporosis.
Make your bones stronger by eating foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and leafy vegetables.
Drink plenty of water
The magic number is eight. When people drink at least eight glasses of water a day, they can do a lot of good.
A recent study out of Tuft University ranked drinking water as the second most important thing to healthy living next to physical activity. As folks get older, their bodies’ ability to hold water decreases. As a result, they will feel less thirsty. Nevertheless, the body will still crave water whether you feel it or not.
Staying hydrated every day fends off drowsiness, confusion and other side effects. Think of water as a lubricant that keeps the machine running well.
When people age, a lot of things can slow down. One of them is the body’s digestive system. As the walls of the gastrointestinal tract get larger, the frequency of constipation can also increase.
Fiber promotes healthy and smooth digestion because it’ll haul foods through the digestive system and decrease transit time. In addition, fibers will also improve overall health.
So, think more about adding foods such as nuts, whole grains, brown rice, fruits and vegetables to your grocery list.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C may help fight cancer and heart disease. It’s also critical for the production of collagen, which protects the skin. In addition, vitamin C can restore the health of the body’s bones and teeth while also doing its part in healing wounds. Fruits, vegetables and supplements are excellent sources for this important vitamin.
Vitamin D for calcium
Of course, calcium is good for bones. There’s also additional evidence that vitamin D safeguards the body from chronic conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses. Vitamin D may help your body absorb all that calcium goodness you incorporate into your diet.
Vitamin D is produced by the skin with a little sunlight, but is also available in cereals, milk, juices and supplements.
Did you know that magnesium affects 300 physiological body functions? From the heart, immune system and bones, magnesium plays a role in a lot of important things going on in the body.
At issue is that older individuals have a more difficult time absorbing magnesium. That’s why it’s important to increase your intake of whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables.
So consult with your doctor on the right amount of supplements to take. Also consult with your doctor about any recommendation we have made above.
At Cherished Companions, our caregivers take health seriously and would be happy to assist with any suggestions you may have for incorporating a healthy diet into your daily routine.
For further questions, to request resources or to inquire about having your loved one utilize our services, contact Cherished Companions today on our website or call (440) 484-5390!
+ Bonus Caregiver Questions To Ask Before You Choose An Agency
As you prepare to interview care agencies, take a look at the agency’s website to learn basic information about the types of care provided, specific services available, and payment options. You can expand on these topics with additional questions during the interview. Keep these tips in mind during the research process:
- Get recommendations. Talk to healthcare professionals in the field, your mom or dad’s doctor, and any friends or family members you know who have worked with a home care agency previously. Ask them which agencies they have had the best experience with and find out what they think about each provider you plan to contact. Look online for reviews and ratings. Do they have a lot of reviews? Look for independent review sites that have verified reviews such as bestofhomecare.com and look for agencies that have awards. See if they are accredited through the BBB and if they have an A+ rating.
- Check references. The agency should supply a list of references such as health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, social workers and other providers they have worked with. Call these references and ask them whether they regularly refer patients to the agency and what sort of feedback they have heard from clients.
- Consider the agency’s technology innovation. Does the agency have an online portal where you can view care plans and communicate with caregivers? Do they respond to communication quickly? Can you access information about your loved one via mobile? These are all useful ways to stay informed about your mom or dad’s care.
- Understand their process. Will you have the opportunity to interview caregivers? What happens if the caregiver isn’t a good fit? Will the same caregiver serve your loved one at each visit? How does the agency provide accountability for quality of service?
Download Your Guide
We understand the importance of finding the right caregiver for your family member. The questions included in this guide will help make this process as straightforward and informative as possible.
Give your mom or dad the gift of independence at home with quality, compassionate in-home care.