What seniors eat may play an important role in their overall health. In addition to affecting the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions, diet also impacts brain health. Here is what you need to know about the impact of diet on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
An Unhealthy Weight Increases Alzheimer’s Risks
Food has a huge influence on overall weight. Overweight individuals are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in their senior years than those with a normal weight. However, older adults who are underweight are also at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Since being overweight or underweight can be dangerous, seniors need a daily diet that helps them stay in a healthy weight range.
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Alzheimer’s Is Strongly Associated with Diabetes
Diabetes is closely linked with Alzheimer’s disease because high levels of blood glucose cause widespread nerve damage throughout the body. Seniors can lower their Alzheimer’s risk by being careful with the amount of sugar they consume. Cutting back on sugar is one of the best ways to lower Alzheimer’s risks, and eating fiber-rich foods can also reduce the rate of blood sugar absorption.
High Blood Pressure Can Damage the Brain
Chronic high blood pressure damages blood vessels in the brain and causes several memory issues. Fortunately, blood pressure can be controlled by diet. A diet high in potassium, whole grains, and water lowers blood pressure. Most processed foods, including sweets and canned vegetables, contain excessive amounts of sodium that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Antioxidants Protect the Brain
Antioxidants prevent damage on a cellular level, and a diet rich in antioxidants reduces inflammation that may heighten the chances of getting Alzheimer’s. Fruits, vegetables, tea, cocoa, and nuts are rich sources of antioxidants.
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A Healthy Heart Lowers Alzheimer’s Risks
In general, one of the strongest links between diet and Alzheimer’s disease involves the heart. A lot of medical research has found that eating a heart-healthy diet significantly reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Foods that boost the circulatory system bring oxygen and nutrients to the brain and clear waste products away before they can damage the brain. Diets that are good for the heart contain plenty of leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, berries, plant-based fats from nuts or seeds, and lean protein. These diets typically exclude red meats, saturated fats, and high amounts of sugar.
Seniors can lower their risk of developing serious health issues and enjoy a high quality of life by opting for professional in-home care. In Scottsdale, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.