7 Amazing Foods That Boost Cognitive Health in Seniors

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An adequate diet can reduce the risk of memory loss in older adults, and a healthy mind can enhance communication skills and quality of life and increase longevity. Below, you’ll find some brain-boosting foods seniors should add to their diets.

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contain EPA and DHA, which are two important types of omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these fatty acids boosts the number of antioxidants in the body that fight against free radicals, preserve memory, and lower the risk of inflammation in the brain. The best fatty fish for seniors to eat are:

  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

2. Blueberries

Oxidative stress can increase the risk of memory loss in older adults, but blueberries are full of antioxidants that combat stress and slow the brain’s aging process. Eating adequate servings of blueberries each week can have a positive impact on the areas of the brain that are vital for intelligence. 

An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support and information when it comes to getting proper nutrition. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Des Moines home care service experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

3. Kale

Kale is full of protein, iron, and folate, which are nutrients that make the brain molecules dopamine and serotonin. Seniors need serotonin to regulate their memories. Dopamine is necessary because it helps the brain deliver essential messages about thoughts and movements. Other green leafy vegetables that boost brain health include:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Collards

4. Nuts

Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids that enhance cognitive performance and slow the aging process. Walnuts are the best source of fatty acids that reduce stress and boost brain health. Your loved one can add nuts to meals and snacks, such as yogurts, salads, and casseroles.

5. Eggs

The folate, vitamins B6 and B12, and choline found in eggs help the body create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the information stored in the brain. Your loved one should try to incorporate eggs into meals each day, especially egg whites. Doing so could lower the risk of developing dementia, arthritis, and heart disease. 

Family caregivers need to pay attention to their health needs too, and that involves self-care and taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

6. Dark Chocolate

Eating healthy doesn’t mean seniors have to give up sweet treats altogether. Instead, they need to monitor their intake and choose gluten-free products. Dark chocolate is full of nutrients that boost brain health, such as flavanols, polyphenols, and other organic compounds. The cocoa in dark chocolate also contains stimulant substances, such as theobromine, that boost short-term memory.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The vitamin K found in extra virgin olive oil can boost brain chemicals that stimulate new brain cells. Vitamin K can also offset negative stress on the brain. Using this type of oil to cook with can replace unhealthy fats that harm the mind. Although extra virgin olive oil can make up for a lack of vegetables in your loved one’s diet, it’s not a substitute.

A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your loved one lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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