Long-term studies are now showing the Mediterranean diet can enhance different aspects of a senior’s life, including physical, mental, and emotional health. Following this diet can also reduce the risk of many age-related illnesses and diseases. Here’s a look at a few of the most compelling reasons older adults should consider switching over to the Mediterranean diet.
1. Fights against Cancer
Researchers have discovered certain foods and ingredients can slow the spread of cancerous cells throughout the body. The Mediterranean diet is centered on fresh produce filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants. These vital molecules reduce general inflammation, protect DNA from damage, and stop healthy cells from mutating into cancerous cells. Some of the best cancer-fighting foods include fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, and fresh olive oil.
A professional caregiver can ensure your loved one eats healthy meals and enjoys a higher quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. 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.
2. Boosts Mental Health
Depression has become a common emotional health issue among the senior population, and it can be triggered by a wide variety of internal and external factors, including diet. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging revealed the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of depression by over 98 percent. Some doctors believe this diet regulates hormone levels and triggers the production of important chemicals in the brain.
3. Manages Blood Sugar Levels
Around 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are living with diabetes, and this condition can be devastating if left untreated. However, the vast majority of seniors who have type 2 diabetes should be able to manage their blood sugar levels with dietary changes. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to increase blood sugar control and overall cardiovascular health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, over 90 percent of all type 2 diabetes cases can be reversed with a traditional Mediterranean diet.
If your loved one needs assistance with healthy meal preparation and managing other daily activities, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of at-home care Austin, Texas, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
4. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most effective ways to regulate weight, and seniors who stay at a healthy weight have a much lower risk of heart disease. The diet is also filled with healthy fats that lower blood pressure. Many traditional Mediterranean dishes are prepared with healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, canola oil, and olive oil. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in seafood are very good for the heart as well.
5. Promotes Cognitive Health
Cognitive decline is an unavoidable part of growing older, but seniors can boost their brain health by eating the proper foods. The same fats that are good for the heart are also good for brain cells and synapses. In addition to boosting cognitive health, the Mediterranean diet can also reduce the risk of mental disorders such as dementia. Studies have shown the Mediterranean diet helps with long-term memory, working memory, abstract reasoning, and judgment.
Encourage your loved one to switch to healthy foods, and help him or her prepare nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Austin seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at (512) 623-7800.