March 18, 2018

The fascinating results of the latest AARP study are in: those who maintain a balanced and healthy diet are twice as likely to consider their mental acuity to be very good or excellent when compared with people who rarely eat well. In particular, a diet high in fish, fruits and vegetables equated to increased brain health.

The participants’ responses match the recommendations of AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health, which also adds the necessity to reduce intake of salt, fatty foods, and excessive alcohol that have been demonstrated to have a detrimental effect on brain health. Per Sarah Lock, senior vice president for policy and executive director of GCBH, “Many of us have gotten used to the idea of heart-healthy foods, but now we know that those same foods can make a big difference in our brain health, as well.”

So, why aren’t more elderly following these simple guidelines? The reasons stated include:

  • Eating healthy is just too expensive.
  • It’s tough to follow a healthier eating plan.
  • Stores selling healthy foods are way too far away.
  • They won’t enjoy the taste.
  • They do not believe it will make an improvement in their health.

However, a full 90% of participants stated they would do something to eat better if they thought it would lower their chance of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline.

The daily recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate initiative are the following for the elderly:

  • 1 ½ – 2 cups of fruits
  • 2 – 3 cups of vegetables
  • 3 cups of dairy
  • 5 – 6 ounces of protein
  • 5 – 7 ounces of grain

Eating a number of different sorts of these foods on a consistent basis is key. It’s also useful to create a strategy as a way to help overcome objections to healthy eating, and then to recruit assistance from a trustworthy family member, friend, or professional caregiver who can help the senior adhere to the plan.

Continuum can help make healthy eating possible for older persons and contribute to better brain health, by shopping for groceries and making sure that the refrigerator and kitchen pantry are well stocked with good food choices, planning and preparing healthy meals, and more! We are able to also provide friendly companionship during mealtimes to relieve the loneliness which may contribute to unhealthy eating, combined with encouragement to help make quality food choices. Contact us for more details on our home care in St Charles, MO at (636) 861-3336.