Brain health is an important topic for people of all ages, but it only gets more relevant to our well-being as we age. Luckily, promoting brain health can be absolutely delicious. A recent study conducted by the University of California found a connection between dementia and anemia. This study reported that people with lower levels of red blood cells in their bodies are at a greater risk of developing brain degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. What this means is that older adults who are more likely to develop memory loss and poor brain functioning have a chance of maintaining a heath mind by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the best foods to eat for seniors include, but are not limited to: blueberries, oily fish, nuts, tomatoes and whole grains.
Blueberries – Researchers at Tufts University, Massachusetts have discovered that blueberries can contribute to improved short term memory. You should start adopting a diet that is rich in blueberries or blueberry extract. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that regular consumption of a blueberry-rich diet can even lead to an improvement in balance and coordination.
When compared to other fruits, blueberries have the highest antioxidant content and can help in regulating the oxidant levels in your body. This prevents your brain from getting damaged due to oxidative stress. The study recommends that the diet of elderly individuals should include at least 1 cup of blueberries or an equivalent amount in blueberry extract.
Oily fish – Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty can help seniors in combating the effects of aging such as memory loss. Since these fatty acids cannot be formed by the body, it has to be consumed through healthy sources like fish. Deep-water fish like salmon is especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines and Herrings are also good sources of omega-3. You should have oily fish at least 2-3 times a week in 4-ounce servings.
Whole grains – To improve your concentration level, your body needs a steady supply of energy and proper blood circulation. Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal are known to help individuals in maintaining an active and alert mind. Try to include ½ cup of “brown” cereals to your breakfast. Brown pasta, wheat bran, bread and wheat germ should be a part of your regular diet.
Nuts – The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study reporting that vitamin E deficiency can contribute to cognitive decline in seniors. To prevent this from happening, you should consume nuts and seeds on a regular basis for a sufficient supply of Vitamin E. Walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, peanuts and flax seeds are all good sources of this vitamin.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in an antioxidant known as lycopene. This antioxidant can help in preventing your brain cells from damages caused by free radicals in the body. Since free radical cell damage contributes to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s, tomatoes are best Alzheimer’s care food for seniors. Remember that colorful vegetables and fruits can improve your memory and prevent further memory loss.
At Samaritas we are committed to providing life enrichment with a stimulating activity program. We offer many healthy food choices to promote a well-balanced diet. We have an on staff Registered Dietitian who is also available to answer any dietary questions or needs.
References: Tony Alosie: Food and Nutrition, Tom McDonald: Mind & Brain, the Journal of Neuroscience and American Journal of Epidemiology