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How Can a Senior Benefit from a Gluten-Free Diet?

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Gluten sensitivity is becoming more prevalent and can affect all ages, including seniors. Helping your elderly loved one maintain a healthy diet is an important component when providing him or her with senior care in Oakville. He or she can benefit from following a gluten-free diet in a variety of ways.

Reduced Inflammation

The gluten protein, found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains, is a known offender for increasing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases and ailments affecting the elderly, including joint pain and arthritis. Switching to a gluten-free diet can help reduce these uncomfortable symptoms your loved one may be experiencing.

Increased Cognitive Function

Some studies have shown seniors following a gluten-free diet experience less “brain fog.” Because cognitive decline can occur with aging, avoiding gluten may help optimize your loved one’s cognitive functioning. Omitting gluten from the diet may also slow cognitive decline thought to result from Alzheimer’s.

Gastrointestinal Support

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the small intestine if gluten is ingested, is twice as prevalent in older adults. This is not surprising, as digestion tends to slow down with age and the gluten protein can be difficult for all people to digest. Digestive issues are common in the elderly, and taking medications can further affect gastrointestinal functioning. Refraining from ingesting gluten can help your loved one minimize digestive problems.

Less Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies

Ingesting gluten can lead to blocking the absorption of necessary nutrients and significantly affect your loved one’s weight and overall wellness. Many older adults already have health issues with related nutritional deficiencies. However, eliminating gluten from the diet can help enhance nutrient absorption, reducing your loved one’s risk of malnutrition.

Embracing a healthy diet can go a long way to support your loved one’s needs and promote his or her overall quality of life. If you are looking for other ways to help your loved one maintain healthy lifestyle habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our live-in and part-time caregivers in Oakville can assist your loved one with a wide variety of tasks, including nutritious meal prep, grocery shopping, and exercise. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.