As a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care in Chandler, we know all to well what a vital role nutrition plays in overall senior health and wellbeing, affecting both physical and mental health. Seniors sometimes report low moods or symptoms of mild depression, but are hesitant to treat these symptoms with medication. If you’re senior loved one has been feeling a little down, or simply needs a pick-me-up, you may be surprised to realize that there are a number of foods that may help boost his or her mood naturally.
Oily fish and seafood, such as salmon, tuna, and mussels, offer important omega-3s that are not naturally produced by the body. In addition to many other health benefits, omega-3s found in fish boost the brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels, elevating mood. Fish is also rich in selenium, an antioxidant shown to help with depression in certain populations–including the elderly.
Green tea contains antioxidants and amino acids, which have been shown to improve focus and mental clarity. For seniors on low caffeine diets, it is important to remember that Green tea does contain natural caffeine.
Chocolate has a boosting effect on brain endorphins, causing the body to release “feel-good” chemicals with fairly small amounts of dark chocolate. Additionally, dark chocolate also has heart healthy properties.
Whole-grain foods, such as breads, rice, and oatmeal, contain amino acids shown to boost the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin boosts mood and relaxation, while Melatonin encourages healthy sleep.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a low-fat source of protein and are also quite high in folic acid and selenium. Both folic acid and selenium have been proven effective in boosting mood and alleviating symptoms of depression in aging adults.
Nuts offer a host of benefits from heart health to mood elevation. Packing both omega-3s and selenium, nuts have been shown to fight oxidative stressors in the brain often associated with mild to moderate depression in seniors.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Greens such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce, all contain high levels of vitamin C and folic acid. Folic acid and vitamin C both increase energy levels and often improve mood.
Want to learn more about senior health? Reach out to Home Care Assistance, a proud provider of hourly and 24/7 live-in care in Chandler. Our trained caregivers can assist with grocery shopping, prepping and cooking healthy meals, meeting exercise needs, and promoting an overall healthy lifestyle. Call us today at (480) 448-6215 or click here to learn more about the services available near you.