A nutritious diet can help a senior maintain a healthy weight, which reduces undue stress on affected joints. Eating healthier reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, which increases blood circulation while reducing nerve sensitivity. Although a healthy diet cannot cure arthritis, several foods provide a number of benefits that have the potential to reduce symptoms by reversing some of the underlying causes.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Heart Association recommend older adults consume four ounces of fish at least twice a week. Anchovies, herring, scallops, salmon, and tuna are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds have been shown to reduce C-reactive proteins and the interleukin 6 protein, which in turn reduces systemic inflammation, joint pain, and swelling. For seniors who don’t care for fish, cod liver oil tablets are a viable alternative.
Fruits & Vegetables
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that protect cells from the damage done by free radicals. Produce with darker or more brilliant colors contain the highest levels of antioxidants. Red and purple produce contains compounds known as anthocyanins, which give the foods their rich colors and are powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Vitamin C–rich citrus fruits and vegetables high in vitamin K are also known to reduce inflammation. Nutritionists recommend seniors get nine one-cup servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Seniors with arthritis and other health conditions may find it challenging to shop for groceries and prepare healthy meals on their own. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable at-home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Beans are rich in compounds known as phytonutrients, which have antioxidant properties and are known to reduce C-reactive protein levels in the blood. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pinto beans and red kidney beans are some of the best foods with high antioxidant content. One cup of beans also provides fiber and 15 grams of protein, which seniors often lack.
Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-wheat flour are all considered fiber-rich foods. An abundance of dietary fiber helps older adults feel fuller longer, which aids in maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers also suggest whole grains possess properties that lower C-reactive proteins, which lead to systemic inflammation. Aging adults should consume three one-cup servings of whole-grain foods daily.
Good nutrition is just one important aspect of a healthy lifestyle for aging adults. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Rockwall Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Nuts & Seeds
Results of a 2011 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed seniors who eat nuts and seeds more frequently have a 51 percent lower risk of fatality secondary to inflammatory disease processes. The foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6. Decreased levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with higher levels of inflammation. Seniors should consider having one handful of nuts or seeds daily to reap the benefits.
Vitamin D–Rich Foods
Researchers suggest diets deficient in vitamin D often lead to osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Seniors need to get 800 to 1,000 IU of the nutrient daily. Oily fish, fortified cereals, juices, and dairy products are excellent sources of the vitamin.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rockwall seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833.