Many seniors believe they don’t need to follow a healthy diet since their bodies are no longer growing. However, this idea is far from the truth. Cells, tissues, and organs need proper nutrients to function during the golden years. Whether your senior loved one is living alone or receiving the best elderly care La Mesa has to offer, here are a few reasons he or she should follow a nutritious diet.
1. Boost Energy and Stamina
Eating a healthy, balanced diet provides the body with sufficient fuel to function. Seniors who lead active lifestyles are especially in need of the right nutrients. Lean meats and complex carbohydrates maintain healthy blood sugar levels and provide energy.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight accelerates the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other health conditions. By adopting a healthy diet, seniors are less likely to crave snacks between meals because they feel full longer. With a proper diet and routine exercise, older adults can lose weight more successfully. Seniors who are underweight can adjust their eating habits to reach a healthy weight.
3. Minimize Diabetes Risk
More than 11 million seniors in the United States live with diabetes, and nearly half of all adults over the age of 65 are considered prediabetic. Diets high in unhealthy fats and sugar lead to obesity, which increases the risk of developing diabetes, dementia, and other health issues.
4. Enhance Cardiovascular Health
Eating a diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is essential for maintaining healthy heart rates and blood pressure levels. The antioxidants in fresh produce prevent free radicals from causing cell damage and death.
5. Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers
Consuming foods rich in fat, salt, and sugar and drinking alcohol excessively lead to weight gain, which interferes with normal blood flow. The chemicals and preservatives found in processed foods can trigger malignant cell formation. On the other hand, diets filled with produce and whole grains provide the body with sufficient fiber to boost gastrointestinal health. Carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and other vegetables contain lycopene and other antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing cancer.
6. Increase Cognitive Function
A nutritious diet provides the antioxidants, B complex vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids needed to protect and promote healthy neuron function. The brain is also better able to create new pathways between neurons when needed. Foods with a high fat and sugar content contribute to inflammation, which interferes with normal blood flow and cell function. Unhealthy foods also prevent proper blood circulation, which deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood.
Some seniors need help switching to nutritious foods and making other healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs assistance with grocery shopping, meal prep, or other daily activities, the La Mesa home care experts at Coast Care Partners can help. We offer comprehensive in-home care plans and professionally trained caregivers for seniors who want to age in the comfort of home. Our caregivers also specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia home care. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at 619-354-2544 today.