There are quite a few reasons seniors with Alzheimer’s need to stick to a healthy diet. In addition to boosting their energy levels and physical health, a nutritious diet can also slow the progression of this disorder. While everyone has slightly different nutritional needs, there are a few basic dietary rules most seniors with Alzheimer’s can benefit from.
The MIND diet has become very popular in recent years, and studies continue to show it’s one of the best options for older adults and those who have been diagnosed with cognitive disorders. This particular diet focuses on fresh produce filled with antioxidants and other vital nutrients. Some of the best fruits and vegetables for seniors with Alzheimer’s include kale, spinach, collards, avocados, broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, and apples.
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When it comes to protein, seniors with Alzheimer’s might want to stick to fresh fish and poultry. The occasional serving of red meat shouldn’t be a major problem, but some experts believe there’s a connection between beef and Alzheimer’s. Those who would like to avoid animal products entirely should fill their plates with nuts, seeds, and legumes. Quinoa is another great option for vegans and vegetarians, but that grain has a lot of calories as well, which means portion control is vital.
Most dietitians and nutritional experts now agree certain types of fat are very good for the brain, which is one of the reasons the MIND diet contains many fatty foods and ingredients. That being said, all sources of fat aren’t the same, and seniors with Alzheimer’s must steer clear of saturated fats. Avocados, eggs, oily fish, and olive oil are all excellent sources of healthy fats. When these foods are eaten regularly, they can reduce brain inflammation, minimizing some of the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Carbohydrates are another vital part of any healthy diet, but seniors with Alzheimer’s need to be wary of where their carbs come from. Simple carbohydrates can usually be found in white breads and other processed goods, and filling up on those foods could lead to weight gain. Complex carbohydrates take much longer to digest and provide ongoing energy throughout the day. Some of the best sources of complex carbs include peas, oats, beans, and lentils.
What to Avoid
There are quite a few foods seniors with Alzheimer’s should avoid if they want to preserve their cognitive health for as long as possible. Studies have revealed processed sugar can result in chronic brain inflammation, which is one of the key risk factors for Alzheimer’s. As a general rule, those who have Alzheimer’s should limit their intake of sweeteners and simple carbohydrates. They should also avoid tobacco products and all forms of alcohol.
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Montgomery Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call Home Care Assistance at (334) 593-3988 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.