Your parent’s dream is to live independently and as his caregiver, you are taking all the steps to make sure he can live in his own home. You may be helping with chores around the home, managing his bill paying, setting up appointments, among many other things. You could have also hired a home care provider to come in and help with hygiene tasks or to socialize with your parent.
There is a lot to do to help your parent live a healthy and active lifestyle. One of the areas that affects just about every aspect of your parent’s quality of life is his diet. Now, more than almost any other time in your parent’s life, it’s important to pay careful attention to what he’s consuming.
The great news is that there is a lot of research out there that informs us about what foods promote healthy changes in different parts of the body. If you and your parent are looking to find what the best foods are for the mind and memory, add the following items to your parent’s grocery list for the next time he plans a visit (or sends his home care provider) to the store for his weekly groceries.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty oils can slow age-related cognitive issues and possibly ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Have your parent pick up some salmon, tuna, or sardines on his next trip to the store.
Blueberries contain antioxidants that act against stress and inflammation in the brain, helping to reduce how quickly the brain ages. Studies have shown that blueberries can help improve memory and may delay short-term memory loss.
Turmeric is a deep yellow spice that is often found in curry powder. The active ingredient in turmeric can directly enter the brain and will benefit the cells there by increasing memory and easing depression.
The mix of caffeine and antioxidants in coffee can boost alertness and mood. They may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
A veritable powerhouse, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. All of these nutrients are important for brain health – zinc is crucial for nerve signaling; magnesium helps with memory and learning; copper helps nerve signals to transmit; and iron keeps the brain clear by eliminating brain fog.
Broccoli is high in Vitamin K, an essential vitamin that helps with memory.
Most people know oranges are high in Vitamin C and think about eating these types of foods when they feel a cold or illness coming on to give their body extra strength to battle the incoming germs. Vitamin C is also beneficial for mental health as well as it helps prevent mental decline. There are lots of foods out there high in Vitamin C so if oranges aren’t something your parent likes, pick up some bell peppers, tomatoes, or strawberries instead.
We might as well end this list with something of a treat! Dark chocolate is loaded with brain-boosting compounds, such as flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. Flavonoids gather in the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and learning so eating dark chocolate may help with mental decline. Just a little 1 oz square a day can help with brain function and provide a delicious snack as well!