Care At Home Tips: How Switching To The Mediterranean Diet May Help Keep The Brain Healthy
Healthy lifestyle choices may slow the progression of dementia and
other cognitive decline in seniors
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to maintain and improve health in senior years. Nowadays, there are many diets that claim to be healthy, so it is important to choose a diet that comes with proven health benefits. Care at home professionals
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most powerful tools for combating age-related cognitive decline. Their study, which includes 967 seniors between the ages of 73 and 76, showed that there is a link between the Mediterranean diet and minimizing the risk of cognitive difficulties in senior years.
Mediterranean Diet Minimizes the Loss of Brain Volume
For the purposes of their study, the researchers studied almost 1,000 seniors and their dietary habits in connection with brain volume. The participants were first asked to fill out a questionnaire about their eating habits, followed by an MRI scan. After three years, the participants had another MRI scan. The researchers then compared both scans.
What they discovered was that, on average, the participants lost 1% of their brain volume during those three years. But those seniors who followed the Mediterranean diet lost only half of what other participants lost - 0.5%. This led the researchers to the conclusion that there is a significant connection between eating this diet and preserving brain volume among the senior population.
Mediterranean Diet Food Breakdown
If you are worried about cognitive issues in your senior loved one, care at home experts suggest you encourage them to follow the Mediterranean diet. This diet is the traditional diet of people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italians, Turks, Tunisians, and others. It is rich in plant-based foods and healthy fats and low in sugars and trans fats.
Here's what your loved one can eat on the Mediterranean diet:
- Plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains
- Moderate amounts of dairy, fish, and seafood
- Low intake of red meat and foods high in sugar
- Olive oil instead of butter
- Minimized intake of salt
- Use of herbs and spices for food flavoring
More Health Benefits
Care at home experts point out that the Mediterranean diet is not just good for the brain, it also has a positive effect on the heart, improving heart health, lowering the risk of heart disease, and reducing cardiovascular mortality. This diet can also prevent several types of cancer as well as cognitive conditions like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. With all these advantages, it does not come as a surprise that the Mediterranean diet is connected to lower mortality rates.
You can find lots of recipes and advice online about this diet, so your loved one can effortlessly improve their eating habits. If you need any help, Visiting Angels care at home is here for you! Our caregivers can provide assistance with grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal preparation, helping your loved one stay healthy and strong for years to come. Contact us today for more information!
Visiting Angels of Newington, CT, is a leading provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors. Our office serves Hartford County, Waterbury, and Springfield, MA. To learn more about the in-home living assistance services provided by our staff of compassionate caregivers, please call our Newington office at (860) 215-2391 or contact us for more information.