Benefits of a Healthy Diet: Nutrition is Key in Assisted Living

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Jun 19, 2012 11:49:16 AM | 3 minute read

It seems that the old adage “you are what you eat” has real merit. Many scientific studies link a good diet to a healthier and longer life. As a result, seniors who eat right tend to have better cognition, less illness, more energy, and an enhanced sense of well-being. Therefore, it is important to consider the diet your loved one will be receiving at a senior living community. Make sure to carefully research each community's nutrition plan and consider whether your loved one will have regular access to healthy dietary choices.

Here are some considerations that our communities incorporate in their weekly menus:

Lower stroke risk with fish

According to one study, women who eat fish often reduce their stroke risk by 52% compared to those who do not consume fish.  Specifically, fish with darker oily meat and high levels of heart-healthy levels of omega-3-fatty acids showed the most benefit.

Be sharp with fresh berries

A plate of fresh berriesMany berries have proven to be effective at improving cognitive function in seniors. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries contain high levels of a substance called flavonoids that appear to slow cognitive decline in seniors.

In fact, results of a recent study indicated that brain aging can be delayed by up to two and a half years in seniors who eat more flavenoid-rich berries.

Get energized with good proteins

Many seniors don’t get enough protein in their diet, making them prone to sickness and fatigue. However, in a health-conscious assisted living community, your loved one will receive a variety of options that will supply them with the energy they need! Many of our communities feature lean cuts of chicken, turkey, pork, and fish. Alternately, there are also a variety of options for vegetarian seniors. Good non-meat protein sources include beans, chickpeas, nuts, eggs, low-fat cheese, and seeds.

Improve memory with walnuts, olive oil, and coffee

A recent study of the traditional Mediterranean diet measured various aspects of cognition in consumers to understand the effects of walnuts, olive oil, and coffee on cognitive function. The results indicated that many traditional Mediterranean foods were able to improve various aspects of cognitive function! Olive oil increased immediate verbal memory; virgin olive oil and coffee improved delayed verbal memory; and walnuts improved working memory.

Smarten up with colorful vegetables

Make your plate more colorful with dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, and broccoli), as well as orange/yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, peppers). They are high in healthy antioxidants.

Stay healthier with tea

A steaming cup of teaTea, especially green tea, is also high in anti-oxidants. Furthermore, increased consumption of tea has been linked to a lower incidence of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Special Diets

When looking at assisted living nutrition choices, make sure that the senior living community offers low sodium and low sugar diets. Ask to see last month’s menu offerings and look at the options available for each daily meal. While looking over the menu, ask about individual diets and healthy alternatives.

Assisted living nutrition can be both delicious and nutritious. Make sure your loved one finds a community with healthy food options.  What nutrition tips work best for your loved ones?

Want to Ensure your Loved One Receives the Appropriate nutrition?

Assisted living and independent living can be a rewarding and positive experience for the family, and healthy nutritional choices play a big part in it. Learn how we've combined world-class care with the best practices in assisted living by learning more about our communities.

Are you looking for the best community for your elderly loved one? Contact us today for answers to your questions about senior living options in Tennessee and Georgia.

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