Medication isn’t the only way to manage dementia symptoms. Research suggests dietary changes play a significant role in minimizing the symptoms of the condition. Families can make changes in how and what their senior loved ones eat. Doing so has many positive benefits beyond symptom management, such as increased energy, a stronger immune system, weight control, and better digestive health.
Maintain Nutritional BalanceSome seniors, even those not currently displaying dementia symptoms, sacrifice important nutritional needs by not adjusting their diets to meet changes in how their bodies process food. For seniors who do display some dementia symptoms, addressing such nutritional deficiencies may stimulate essential brain cell activity. Trained caregivers can encourage healthy eating habits and help seniors with dementia avoid foods that can be harmful. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Focus on Antioxidants, Unsaturated Fats, & B VitaminsStudies involving Alzheimer’s disease, the most common dementia-related condition, suggest diets rich in antioxidants, unsaturated fats, and B vitamins can boost cognitive functioning. Antioxidants in particular can prevent further cell damage by fending off unstable molecules, or free radicals.
Exclude SaltInstead of salt, your loved one should use herbs and spices to season food. Cinnamon, sage, and turmeric are just a few of the herbs and spices that can slow the progression of dementia. The natural components found in these herbs and spices break up brain plaques and reduce inflammation in the brain. Many seniors with dementia find it challenging to plan and prepare meals that optimize their long-term health. In Winnipeg, home care service 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.
Limit Red Meat ConsumptionRed meat has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and it should be replaced with fatty fish and poultry. Your loved one should eat these types of meats at least twice per week. Fatty fish contain the acids necessary to keep the brain in great shape and reduce the progression of dementia symptoms.
Replace Butter with Olive OilArtificial flavoring can have a negative impact on the brain. Butter contains diacetyl, an artificial flavor that has been linked to dementia. Diacetyl can produce amyloid, a protein that speeds up cognitive decline, and it also disrupts the production of glyoxalase I, a protein that prevents amyloids from sticking together. By replacing butter with olive oil, your loved one’s body will get the omega-3 fatty acids necessary to clear the body of amyloids and other toxins that can cause dementia symptoms to worsen.
Help Your Loved One Make Dietary ChangesIf you provide home care for a senior with dementia, convincing him or her to make dietary changes can present some challenges. One way to achieve this goal is to incorporate healthier ingredients into favorite recipes and offer fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants as snacks between meals. Additional foods that may help seniors manage dementia symptoms include:
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, mustard leaves)
- Legumes and beans
- Cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
- Cherries and berries
- Whole grains
- Certain spices (sage, cinnamon, cumin)