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5 Ways the Mediterranean Diet Can Benefit Seniors

By , 9:00 am on

Seniors may need to change their eating habits as they grow older and choose diets that promote active and independent lifestyles. A meal plan that has become popular among the elderly is the Mediterranean diet, which consists of lean meats and large quantities of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Here are some of the benefits your aging loved one can receive from following the Mediterranean diet.

1. Boosts Brain Health

Aging increases the risk of memory loss and various age-related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. However, following the Mediterranean diet provides the brain with healthy fats that enhance cognitive functioning. One of the most effective foods in the diet is fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna. Eating fish can fight free radicals, which damage brain cells, and keep your loved one’s short-term and long-term memory sharp.

2. Helps with Weight Management

Inactivity and poor eating habits can cause seniors to gain weight as they age. Losing weight may be more difficult because of seniors’ lower metabolism levels and decreased bone mass. Therefore, your loved one will need to look for significant ways to lose weight, and eating nutritious food is an excellent place to start. The Mediterranean diet contains high amounts of plant-based foods that help seniors shed calories, and it avoids unhealthy fats that can contribute to obesity. 

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Oakville senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

3. Enhances Emotional Health

Watching their health decrease as they age can be stressful for older adults, putting them at a higher risk of becoming depressed. The good news is that the foods your loved one eats, along with other healthy lifestyle choices, can prevent depression and boost his or her quality of life. Eating comfort foods like cakes, cookies, and red meats and drinking sugary beverages can provide temporary relief, but your loved one’s anxiety levels may increase after a few hours. However, eating plant-based foods can reduce inflammation in the brain and lower the risk of depression. 

Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Oakville, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

4. Increases Longevity

Since the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of chronic conditions, your loved one can enjoy a better quality of life and increase his or her longevity. The unprocessed foods, red wine (in moderation), fatty oils, and plentiful nutrients found in the Mediterranean diet are packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants that could help your loved one experience fewer ailments and illnesses and allow him or her to age in place comfortably.

5. Increases Circulation

Hypertension and high cholesterol are common among the elderly, putting them at risk of diabetes, arthritis, strokes, and heart attacks. The foods included in the Mediterranean diet can stabilize blood sugar and increase circulation. Keep in mind that high blood sugar levels also impact critical thinking abilities. Therefore, you need to encourage your loved one to try the Mediterranean diet. List all the benefits and look for fun, unique ways to incorporate the new foods into weekly meal prep.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Oakville, ON, 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. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (519) 590 2792.