There is no rule that says that senior diets have to be bland. In fact, spicing things up diet-wise can be a good thing for seniors since many delicious spices also have beneficial properties that can address common age-related health concerns. If you provide home care for a senior parent, here are some helpful spices that can easily be incorporated into his or her daily diet.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is an excellent source of natural antioxidants that can help fend off free radicals (unstable molecules) that can damage healthy cells, possibly offering some benefits for seniors living with conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Cinnamon can also help keep blood sugar levels in check, a plus for seniors with diabetes.
- Sage – Easily sprinkled on “earthy” foods like casseroles and hearty soups for added flavor, sage is especially beneficial for seniors with memory issues due to various forms of dementia. Sage also helps with digestion.
- Turmeric – Just a sprinkle of turmeric can add some flavor to things like salads, lentil soup, and Greek yogurt while providing some benefits for seniors at risk for developing heart disease. It may also help fend off certain cancers, according to recent research.
It is also important to keep in mind that high doses of turmeric may cause issues with blood clotting, so be mindful of how much is used at any one time.
- Ginger – For seniors who have a fondness for Asian and Indian cooking, it won’t be hard to find some dishes that could use a little ginger. It’s also good in black tea and some soups. Ginger can help pass food along through the intestines to aid with digestion. Studies suggest it may also help with muscle pain and chronic inflammatory conditions
Other beneficial spices that our in-home caregivers recommend include:
All of the above spices are not only flavorful, they are good sources of vitamin K and iron, both of which can help to counteract inflammation affecting joint pain and bowel movements.
If you are having trouble preparing meals for your parent or are concerned about a loved one’s ability to prepare healthy meals independently, it may be time to look at your options for hourly and live-in care in Sonoma County, CA. Professional home caregivers can be utilized to support healthy senior living, making sure seniors eat regular meals, maintain healthy diets, and take medications as prescribed. For more information about local home care services, call 707-843-4368 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.