Following a healthy diet is a good way for seniors to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and various chronic conditions, and it can also keep the brain healthy during the senior years. Adding more servings of leafy green vegetables to the diet can help seniors boost their brain health and stave off memory loss, in addition to other age-related health conditions. Here are some of the ways eating leafy greens can boost cognitive health for older adults.
Increase Energy Levels
The brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body to fuel the electrical impulses neurons used to communicate. However, most adults have less energy in their senior years due to lack of activity, poor eating habits, high blood pressure levels, and mobility issues. When you add leafy greens to your loved one’s diet, he or she will receive the fiber and iron necessary to boost metabolism. Eating leafy greens can also keep your loved one’s red blood cells healthy, leading to more energy and better communication.
Eating leafy greens is just one of the many ways older adults can enjoy a high quality of life. To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of a professional caregiver. Families rely on Home Care Assistance Santa Rosa to provide caregivers who are expertly trained in various aspects of senior home care, including our holistic Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program focused on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental and social stimulation, and calmness and purpose.
Leafy greens are considered power foods that boost cognitive function, which includes the memory, decision-making abilities, mental response time, and mood. This is due to the antioxidants found in leafy greens, as well as other minerals and vitamins. Antioxidants provide the body with fatty acids that can strengthen and stimulate the brain. Kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards are leafy greens that are high in antioxidants and other nutrients that protect the brain.
Keep the Body Hydrated
Staying hydrated allows the systems in the body to work with each other to help it remain healthy. As a result, the brain can function at normal levels. When your loved one is hydrated, his or her nervous system can communicate with the body more efficiently. When seniors aren’t hydrated, they may experience confusion, memory issues, difficulty focusing, and a decrease in alertness. Most people only think of drinking water when it comes to staying hydrated, but leafy greens contain a lot of water as well. Adding leafy greens to the diet can keep the body hydrated, leading to better cognitive health as well as healthier skin.
Make sure your loved one eats healthy foods each day by hiring a professional caregiver to cook nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Santa Rosa seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Fight Off Depression
It is important for aging adults to consume high levels of folate to fight against the stress hormone known as cortisol. Folate contributes to serotonin levels, which can lift mood and reduce the risk of depression. Serotonin is an important chemical in the body that can regulate mood, memory, social behavior, digestion, sleep, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin can increase the odds of becoming depressed. However, eating leafy greens can provide a good source of folate, leading to more serotonin production, which may lift your loved one’s mood and stave off other health issues caused by depression, such as diabetes, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cognitive decline is not the only health issue older adults are susceptible to. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Santa Rosa families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (707) 843.4368 today.