As your senior loved one ages, his or her risk of developing dementia may increase. However, there are lifestyle choices your loved one can make to slow cognitive decline, such as following the Mediterranean diet. The foods used in this diet could keep your loved one’s brain stimulated and sharp. Here are some of the ways the Mediterranean diet can stave off dementia.
1. Counts Calories
By counting calories, your loved one can monitor his or her weight, shed a few pounds, and reduce the risk of obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent cognitive impairment and preserve your loved one’s memory. Following the Mediterranean diet helps your loved one monitor his or her food intake, maintain a healthy weight, and enjoy a high quality of life.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Mississauga home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Boosts Brain Function
This diet includes beans and legumes, which contain high levels of iron, magnesium, and folate. Your loved one needs these nutrients to maintain normal body functions and keep neurons firing. Beans and legumes used in this diet boost acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical to brain function.
3. Provides Healthy Fats
Olive oil is the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. This product contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help your loved one’s brain fight against free radicals that damage cells. As a result, your loved one could stave off dementia.
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4. Blocks Beta-Amyloid Production
In addition to plenty of water and healthy beverages, the Mediterranean diet includes red wine. This drink has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that protect the brain against cognitive decline. When your loved one drinks red wine moderately, his or her body produces more gallic acid. This acid blocks the aggregation of beta-amyloid in the brain. Beta-amyloid is a peptide that is involved with the development of dementia.
5. Prevents Protein Buildup and Toxic Fat Production
The Mediterranean diet is free of preservatives and flavor enhancers. Instead of using processed sugars, this diet uses natural enhancers like honey. Large amounts of processed food cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain. Too much processed food leads to protein buildup, which is associated with dementia. Your loved one can stave off dementia by limiting the amounts of processed foods he or she eats.
6. Reduces Stress
Practicing the Mediterranean diet can help your loved one dine leisurely. Your loved one will also be eating healthy foods that help him or her maintain a happy mood. For example, nuts, leafy greens, and fruits are foods that calm the body. Too much stress can lead to depression and dementia. Chronic stress and anxiety damages areas of the brain involved in thinking, emotional responses, and memory, which leads to dementia. By following the Mediterranean diet, your loved one will be eating foods that help him or her de-stress and relax, which could stave off dementia.
Switching to the Mediterranean diet is one of the many ways seniors can reduce their risk of developing dementia. Professional caregivers can help seniors manage daily tasks, stave off diseases, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Mississauga, Ontario, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. Whether your elderly loved one needs occasional help at home or extensive 24-hour care, call us at (289) 795-4520 today.