The brain is one of the most important organs in the body. But, like the rest of the body, it too ages. Unfortunately, brain health can decline, just like physical health in other areas of the body. The good news is that there are ways to protect against decline. One way is to eat certain foods that protect brain health. Below are several foods that can be included in the diets of older adults to help the brain work better.
Research shows that blueberries can protect the brain by delivering healthy antioxidants and anthocyanins that protect the brain from damaging inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies conducted on rats have shown that elderly rats who ate blueberries had a greater capacity for learning and better motor skills, which made them the mental equivalents of younger rats. So, grab a handful of blueberries and toss them into an older adult’s morning cereal, or dole out a bowl as a healthy snack.
Fatty fish, like salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for brain function and have anti-inflammatory components. The brain is actually made up of about 60 percent fat, so it needs omega-3s to build nerve cells and brain tissue. Experts recommend eating fish two or three times each week.
Sometimes people shy away from avocados because of their fat content. However, the fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, or a healthy fat. It helps blood to flow better and reduces blood pressure. Since the brain needs a good supply of blood, eating avocados can improve brain health. The recommended amount of avocados is just ¼ to ½ of an avocado once per day, though, because they are quite high in calories.
Beans are not only economical, they are also incredibly healthy. Beans help regulate glucose levels. The brain is unable to store glucose, so it needs a regular supply of glucose for energy. Eating a ½ cup of beans per day will help supply that energy.
Coffee has been linked to a number of health benefits for the brain. Coffee contains both caffeine and antioxidants, both of which are good for the brain. Caffeine has been shown to improve mood, concentration, and alertness. However, it’s important not to drink too much coffee since the caffeine can cause jitters.
Elderly care providers can help your aging family member to protect their brain health through diet. Elderly care providers can help seniors to plan healthy meals that include the foods above. They can also drive to the store and assist with shopping. For seniors who have difficulty cooking, elderly care providers can cook for them or assist with the parts of cooking that have become difficult.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Wilmette, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.