The Mediterranean diet is based on the typical diet of people in Southern Italy, Greece, Spain, and France, and it includes whole grains, fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits, legumes, fatty fish, and olive oil. For seniors who want to live longer and healthier lives, here are a few of the benefits of this popular diet.
1. Promotes Weight Loss
Repeatedly gaining and losing weight can be dangerous to a senior’s health. By following the Mediterranean diet, seniors can lose weight in a healthy manner. This diet contains protein and whole grains that keep seniors full between meals.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional non-medical in-home care. Scottsdale, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Fights Cancer
Fresh produce is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, and studies show adhering to a plant-based diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of cancer. According to the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, the Mediterranean diet is filled with polyphenols, antioxidants, and other nutrients that combat cancerous cells. Fresh fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent cancer.
3. Boosts Heart Health
Heart disease is common among seniors, which is why they should pay attention to their cholesterol levels and blood pressure. A 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the Mediterranean diet can drastically reduce an adult’s risk of heart disease. The alpha-linolenic acid found in fresh olive oil can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of a sudden cardiac arrest by 45 percent.
4. Limits Intake of Processed Foods
Processed and refined foods lack many of the key nutrients needed to maintain health. These foods are often filled with white sugar, nitrites, and other dangerous additives. One of the primary goals of the Mediterranean diet is to eat fresh, local, and healthy foods.
5. Prevents Diabetes
Aging adults are susceptible to diabetes, and doctors believe around 26 percent of all seniors have this condition. The Mediterranean diet can help seniors keep their weight under control, and it also contains nutrients that stabilize blood sugar levels. Olive oil contains phytochemicals that reduce insulin resistance and inflammation.
6. Preserves Cognitive Health
A number of studies published over the last few years reveal there might be a close connection between the Mediterranean diet and cognitive health. A 2016 study carried out at the University of Saskatchewan found that seniors who stuck to this diet had lower rates of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders. Researchers believe a variety of mental health complications are caused by diets that promote brain inflammation.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia home care. Scottsdale seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
7. Protects the Liver
The liver is responsible for processing several ingredients found in unhealthy foods. Over the years, the extra strain on the liver increases a senior’s risk of developing liver disease. Almost all of the foods found in the Mediterranean diet are easy for the liver to process.
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. To learn about our holistic senior care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.