Though the Mediterranean diet has been around since 1945, it has only recently grown in popularity among the elderly demographic. Since a major aspect of the senior care Scottsdale families trust is helping their aging loved ones maintain healthy eating habits, the staff at Home Care Assistance wants to share 5 ways the Mediterranean diet boosts senior health.
1. Facilitates Digestion
It’s crucial for your loved one to maintain a smooth and regular digestive system. Foods rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and nuts can help keep his or her digestion from slowing down. Fiber-rich foods are often highlighted in the frequency chart of the Mediterranean diet and can help your loved one correct digestion irregularities.
2. Boosts Brain Function
A study published in Neurology observed the eating habits of 674 people who were close to 80 years old. Those in the study who followed a Mediterranean diet with low amounts of saturated fats and plenty of fish had more white and gray matter in their brains, which meant their brains were much younger and functioned more effectively than those who didn’t follow this type of diet.
3. Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis
Eating foods rich in calcium can help reduce your loved one’s chances of getting osteoporosis. The Mediterranean diet consists of calcium-rich foods like spinach, dairy products, and beans. Greek yogurt is another good option for this diet because it contains both calcium and vitamin D, two nutritional properties known for helping bones stay strong.
4. Aids in Heart Disease Prevention
Your loved one can lower his or her cholesterol and blood pressure by eating a large amount of plant-based foods like grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, which are the major foods featured in the Mediterranean diet. Following this diet regularly may also help your loved one reduce the risks of having a stroke or heart attack. According to research from Harvard Medical School, women who ate these types of foods on a regular basis were 40 percent more likely to live past the age of 70.
5. Relieves Joint Inflammation
The staples of the Mediterranean diet include olive oil and oily fish. These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are known for reducing joint inflammation. Consuming these foods may even help seniors battling arthritis by alleviating the swelling in their muscles and joints
If the Mediterranean diet is not right for your loved one, there are many other strategies for making healthy dietary choices. To learn more about senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can cook healthy meals for your loved one and even go grocery shopping to purchase foods that meet his or her dietary needs. We also offer comprehensive stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Scottsdale seniors can rely on. For more information and to request a free consultation, call 480.448.6215 today.