A well-balanced diet typically contains all the nutrition needed to stay healthy. Nutritious foods also are important for brain health. However, there are a variety of superfoods that are particularly vital for cognitive function. Here’s a look at five superfoods that can boost brain health.
1. Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is rich in folic acid. An article published in a 2007 issue of The Lancet explained that folic acid is necessary to help the brain combat the effects of aging. Folic acid speeds up the messages sent from one neuron to the next, and it also enhances memory. As a superfood, acorn squash is rich in vitamin B12, which is needed to protect neurons from damage while preventing overall brain shrinkage. The vegetable is also rich in vitamin C and supplies beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A. Its potassium content keeps blood pressure in check.
From preparing nutritious, brain-boosting meals to making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors may need help with an array of tasks. The home care services Scottsdale, Arizona, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
2. Dark Chocolate
The caffeine in dark chocolate can keep the mind alert. Dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants, which can eliminate free radicals that contribute to cell aging and deterioration. The flavonoids in dark chocolate enhance blood flow, which is necessary for the brain to receive oxygen and nutrients. Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University also learned that seniors who eat dark chocolate experience better concentration, recall, and response time. Eating a small piece of dark chocolate each day can boost brain health.
3. Green Tea
The compounds in green tea are known to boost brain function. Scientists from the University of Basel found that green tea extract enhances the electrical signals between neurons, which can subsequently boost message transmission and cognitive function. People who drink green tea regularly report they are better able to focus and concentrate. Drinking two to three cups of green tea every day can also reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
A rich source of potassium, spinach helps neurons maintain electrical conductivity while keeping blood pressure low. In turn, neurons can pass the right neurotransmitters quicker to each other. When neurons work more effectively, seniors experience heightened problem-solving skills and enhanced memory. Spinach is also full of antioxidants that protect brain cells from possible damage. Eating spinach also provides folate and magnesium along with vitamins E and K, which keep the brain healthy and prevent cognitive impairment.
Preparing nutritious meals for a senior loved one can be a difficult task, especially if you have other important chores to tend to. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Scottsdale, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Among all other nut varieties, walnuts have the highest omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids can boost memory and cognitive function by enhancing the activity of neurotransmitters. The compounds found in walnuts also fight inflammation and increase blood circulation. Walnuts also contain vitamin B6 and magnesium, which protect the memory center of the brain. Just a handful of walnuts make for a healthy snack while providing nutrition for the brain.
Aging adults may find it difficult to switch to healthy meals without some assistance. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Scottsdale, AZ, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. To get the best in-home care services for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 480.448.6215 today.