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Does Fish Oil Reduce the Risk of Strokes?

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In recent years, fish oil has been touted as being able to do everything from preventing strokes to speeding a person’s recovery after surviving one. Currently, scientists are still conducting research to find proof of these claims and understand the reasons fish oil is so beneficial, but it is known that there’s a link between getting enough healthy fats in the diet and a lower risk of stroke. Understanding how fish oil works in the body can help you decide if your aging loved one needs to take fish oil supplements or eat more fish to lower the risk of strokes.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

For many years, older adults were told to avoid fatty foods and that anything with oil was considered unhealthy. However, it’s now known that healthy fats help the body counteract the effects of bad fats. Fish oil is effective for boosting a senior’s health because it’s one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids available. These fatty acids work differently in the body than other types of fat. In fact, they have a blood-thinning effect that increases circulation so blockages don’t occur in the veins and arteries. Seniors who take fish oil tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than those who don’t. Your loved one may also find that taking fish oil helps him or her manage other health conditions that could lead to a stroke, such as diabetes. 

Whether they’re consumed in food or taken as supplements, omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthy diet, but some seniors may need help managing proper nutrition on their own. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Other Sources of Healthy Fatty Acids

As with any supplement, your loved one should try to get healthy fatty acids from natural sources in the diet and only take supplements if his or her doctor gives approval. Lean fish such as salmon and tuna are ideal sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, avocados, and soybeans also provide omega-3 fatty acids, and they may appeal to seniors who don’t eat meat. Shrimp is another rich source of fatty acids you can serve as an alternative to fish so your loved one benefits from a varied menu at home. As you work on your menu planning, make sure to talk to your loved one about his or her comfort with preparing items such as fish. Having a caregiver help with the cooking and preparation makes it more likely that your loved one will eat fish regularly. 

If your loved one already has cardiovascular issues such as heart disease or a history of strokes, maintaining a healthy diet is even more important. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Des Moines seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

How to Increase the Positive Effects for Stroke Prevention

Your loved one can also take other steps to maximize the benefits provided by fish oil or seafood. For instance, taking a short walk after dinner increases blood flow in the body. Your loved one should also continue to avoid high-fat foods and work with a physician to keep his or her blood pressure under control. When used alongside other healthy living strategies, fish oil can bolster your loved one’s efforts at stroke prevention.

Through healthy dietary choices and exercise, seniors can reduce their stroke risk, but some seniors find it challenging to adopt and stick to new habits on their own. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (515) 264-2438 today.

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