Recovering from a stroke isn’t easy, but seniors can do quite a bit to speed up the process and reduce their risk of having additional strokes. With the proper diet, your aging loved one can strengthen his or her cardiovascular system, boost energy levels, and preserve cognitive health. Here’s a quick look at six nutrient-dense foods all stroke survivors should consider adding to their diet.
1. Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Researchers now believe the pigments that make produce colorful contain vital phytonutrients. Those bright colors are the result of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. According to a 2000 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating orange and yellow produce can increase blood flow and strengthen the artery walls. Brightly colored fruits also strengthen the immune system, which can help seniors fight off infections during stroke recovery.
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2. Fatty Fish
When it comes to cognitive health, very few foods are as beneficial as fatty fish. Most fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, and that particular set of nutrients reduces general inflammation. Many doctors now tell stroke survivors to consume large quantities of omega-3 fatty acids following any type of injury or operation to speed up the healing process. As a general rule, stroke survivors should try to consume at least three or four servings of fatty fish per week. Some of the best options include Alaskan salmon, cod, sardines, mackerel, and herring.
A stroke can damage the area of the brain responsible for triggering appetite, and many stroke survivors completely lose interest in eating, which is why every snack and meal needs to be filled with key vitamins and minerals. Nuts are an excellent snack for stroke survivors because they’re easy to eat and full of healthy fats. They also contain a significant amount of protein, which is vital to the recovery process.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Oakville live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
Unlike many other organs, the brain is primarily fueled by glucose, and beans are one of the best sources of this vital energy-producing carbohydrate. Eating a few servings of beans every week provides plenty of fiber as well. As an added bonus, beans are easy to eat, and they’re an ideal option for stroke survivors who have a difficult time chewing and swallowing foods.
5. Lean Meats
After going through any type of injury or cardiac event, seniors need to consume quite a bit of protein. Protein helps the body replace damaged tissue with healthy cells, but seniors must be conscious of the types of protein they’re eating. Fatty cuts of beef and pork contain saturated fat, which is harmful to the cardiovascular system. Instead of red meat and pork, stroke survivors should focus on leaner options, such as fish and poultry.
6. Reduced-Fat Dairy Products
Many reduced-fat dairy products are easy to eat and digest, delicious, and nutrient dense. As a general rule, stroke survivors should aim for one or two servings of dairy per day. Choices include low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and whey. All of those products contain heart-healthy nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200.