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Health Benefits Seniors Can Gain from the Mediterranean Diet

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on May 16, 2016

Seniors who want to do more than lose weight should consider the Mediterranean diet. The rich variety of foods included in this change can help your elderly loved one boost his or her overall health. Chandler senior care experts want to share a few of the benefits that can be gained from following the Mediterranean diet.

Prevents Heart Disease 

This disease is commonly diagnosed in seniors due to cholesterol buildup or the degeneration of arteries. By eating large amounts of plant-based foods, including fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables, your loved one can prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Mediterranean diet also consists of monounsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, and olive oil, which can have a positive impact on your loved one’s heart health, lowering his or her risk of heart disease.

Reduces Joint Inflammation 

As your loved one ages, his or her body may go through a lot of wear and tear, which can lead to arthritis and joint inflammation. However, the Mediterranean diet can help your loved one relieve this discomfort thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like oily fish. These fatty acids convert into compounds that include resolvins, which work to bring the inflammatory response in your loved one’s body to an end.

Gives the Brain a Boost 

The Mediterranean diet consists of fats that increase the gray and white matter in a senior’s brain, helping it function more effectively and efficiently. The omega-3 fatty acids found in whole grains, nuts, fish, vegetables, and fruits are the closest your loved one can get to miracle food for the brain. They help the blood flow smoothly, which can boost your loved one’s mood and memory. The oils found in these foods help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and the omega-3 fatty acids also help the nerve cells communicate better, allowing chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to move in and out of the brain more easily.

Lowers the Risk of Cancer 

This diet includes a combination of unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fibers that can have a favorable effect on seniors at risk for cancer. Senior women who follow the Mediterranean diet can reduce their risk of breast cancer. The foods included in the diet also cause positive changes within the colon to prevent colon cancer. The monounsaturated fats that make up this diet help decrease the levels of some proteins in the body linked to the development of colon cancer.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s eating habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance for advice on senior nutrition. We created a program called the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on lifestyle factors that promote longevity, one of which being a healthy diet. In addition to our part-time and live-in care services, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia home care Chandler families trust. To request a complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager, call 480.448.6215 today.