Fighting Dementia Through Nutrition

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American House Florida

For more information about the author, click to view their website: American House

Posted on

Jul 17, 2023

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

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Nutrition and Dementia

Nutrition is a key factor in managing the symptoms of dementia. Studies have shown that a balanced diet, rich in essential nutrients, can help to improve cognitive functioning and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Research suggests that we should be “eating the rainbow of colors” daily. This includes leafy greens, green peppers, broccoli, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, bananas, yellow peppers, carrots, red peppers, tomatoes and eggplants, as just a few examples. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Each color provides various health benefits and no one color is superior to another, which is why a balance of all colors is most important. Getting the most phytonutrients also means eating the colorful skins, the richest sources of the phytonutrients, along with the paler flesh.”

Lean proteins, such as fish, nuts, legumes and lean red meats, are also very important nutrients needed for your immune system. Healthy fats should also be included in your daily diet: olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. These items provide omega 3 fatty acids needed for heart health function and may help in memory loss.

Fiber is important to not only keep our digestive system regular, but to also keep your heart healthy. Fiber can be found in whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread and quinoa.

In addition to a balanced diet, adequate hydration is also important for individuals with dementia. Dehydration can lead to further cognitive decline and can worsen symptoms such as confusion and disorientation. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that elderly individuals with dementia who drank more than the recommended daily amount of water had a slower rate of cognitive decline.

Our bodies need nutrients, vitamins and minerals — powerful antioxidants to keep our bodies the strongest they can be.

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition is also important for brain health. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help support the brain’s natural functions and protect it from damage. For example, B vitamins have been shown to play an important role in cognitive functioning, and a deficiency in these vitamins can lead to a decline in cognitive performance. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial for brain health, with studies showing that they can help to reduce inflammation and improve learning and memory.

A diet rich in antioxidants can help protect the brain from damage, which can help to reduce the risk of developing dementia. Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage.

Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, as well as flavonoids, have been found to be beneficial for brain health. Future Learn explains the impacts antioxidants have, “Once absorbed into the blood and transported into the brain, antioxidants can prevent oxidative stress to brain cells. This is particularly important, as the adult brain virtually stops replacing dead or dying neurons.”

Flavonoids and antioxidants have many health benefits and are easy to include in your diet.

Nutrition plays an important role in managing the symptoms of dementia, and a nutritious diet can help to protect the brain from damage and reduce the risk of developing dementia. A diet rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help to support brain health and protect it from damage. Hopefully one day we will have a cure for dementia, but for now we can help fuel our bodies with what they need to fight!

Interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s and Dementia? Check out the great information below:

  • Total Brain Health at American House
  • Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: With Knowledge Comes Power.
  • Eight Ways to Honor Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

Information provided by Susanne Consiglio, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in private practice in St. Clair Shores, for over 30 years. She is a health care professional, trained to provide medical nutrition therapy and lifestyle changes for health improvements. Susanne continues to stay connected, following the latest nutrition advances.

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Boost Your Brain Health With These 10 Superfoods

Our brain, that tireless workhorse, controls every thought we conjure, every memory we cherish, and every word we utter. It even choreographs our every move. So, how about we give it a little love and feed it well? Ready to discover the magic foods thatll give your brain the fuel it craves? Unraveling the Intricate Dance of Nutrition and Brain Health The Brain-Nutrient TangoOur brains, ever-hungry for energy and nutrients, need the right fuel to keep the cogs turning smoothly. Some nutrients, in fact, are the VIP guests at the brains party. The Omega-3 Fan ClubOmega-3 fatty acids arent just good for your brain; theyre its VIP party guests! Theyre the building blocks of brain and nerve cells, and without them, we might find ourselves in a learning rut or battling the blues. Antioxidants The Brains BodyguardsThen there are antioxidants, the brains personal bodyguards. They shield the brain from the onslaught of oxidative stress, which can wreak havoc on cells and fast forward brain aging and diseases. Your Brains Top 10 Best FriendsReady for the grand reveal? Heres the A-list of foods thatll supercharge your brain and get it firing on all cylinders. 1.) Fatty FishWhen it comes to brain food, fatty fish usually steal the limelight. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, these swimmers offer a VIP treatment for your brain. 2.) BlueberriesBlueberries come packed with antioxidants that put the brakes on brain aging and give your memory a boost. Think of them as the brains personal shield against harm. 3.) TurmericThis golden spice, a darling of curry powder, wears many hats for brain benefits. Curcumin, its active compound, can cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver anti-inflammatory and antioxidant gifts. 4.) BroccoliBroccoli, with its rich antioxidant and vitamin K profile, is believed to root for brain health. Vitamin K helps in forming a type of fat thats densely packed into brain cells. 5.) Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin seeds might be small, but theyre giants when it comes to brain health. Theyre bursting with antioxidants and brimming with magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Now, thats a nutrient party your brain would love to join.6.) Dark ChocolateDark chocolate and cocoa powder arent just indulgences; theyre powerhouses of brain-friendly compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. So, go ahead and enjoy a square (or two) of dark chocolate guilt-free!7.) NutsNuts arent just for squirrels. Research shows that eating nuts can amp up markers of heart health, and a healthy heart is a happy companion to a healthy brain. Walnuts, in particular, wear the omega-3 crown in the nut kingdom. 8.) OrangesOranges, with their generous vitamin C offerings, are a ticket to warding off mental decline. Savor a medium-sized orange, and youll be treating your brain to a significant dose of this essential vitamin. 9.) EggsEggs are the poster child of brain foods, boasting several brain-friendly nutrients, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Your body uses choline to whip up acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. 10.) Green TeaGreen tea does more than quench your thirst. It serves up caffeine and antioxidants, and its reputation for boosting mood and cognitive performance is well-deserved. Eating Your Way to Brain HealthAdding these superstar foods to your daily diet is simpler than you might think. Start your day with a sprinkle of blueberries and nuts on your oatmeal. How about a lunch salad crowned with broccoli and eggs? Enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up with green tea, and round off your day with a square of dark chocolate. Remember, in the quest for brain health, consistency is the secret sauce. Delicious Recipes for Your BrainWho says brain food has to be boring? Here are some simple recipes to make your brain sing:Berry and Nut Smoothie: Start your day with a power breakfast. Blend blueberries, a dollop of almond butter, a handful of spinach, and almond milk. Its a brain-loving smoothie thatll have you leaping out of bed!Salmon Salad: For a brain-boosting lunch, grill a piece of salmon and serve it atop leafy greens. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and a squeeze of fresh orange juice for a refreshing twist.Turmeric Tea: Unwind with a cup of warm, soothing, and brain-healthy turmeric tea. Simply boil a cup of water, add a teaspoon of turmeric, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten with a touch of honey. Brain Health: Its More Than Just FoodGood nutrition is vital for brain health, but it doesnt stop there. Lets shine a spotlight on the other stars of the show. Hydration The Brains ElixirWater isnt just a thirst quencher; its a brain elixir. Dehydration can play tricks on your short-term memory, focus, and decision-making skills. So, keep your brain happily swimming in a well-hydrated body. A humble glass of water might be the simplest brain boost you can give yourself today. Brain Gymnastics: Exercise Your Way to a Healthier BrainDont let muscles steal all the exercise glory; your brain deserves its share. Regular physical activity sets the stage for increased blood flow to the brain, growth of new brain cells, and enhanced memory and thinking skills. So, lace up those sneakers and get your brain pumping!Sleep The Brains Repair TimeWhen we sleep, our bodies arent just snoozing; theyre hard at work repairing and rejuvenating themselves. A solid nights sleep can elevate memory, spur creativity, and sharpen problem-solving skills. On the flip side, sleep deprivation can throw a wrench in cognitive function and mood balance. So, make sure youre catching enough Zs for your brains sake. The Last WordThe bottom line? Your brains health is in your hands. A diet studded with the foods weve explored can rev up your brain health and turbocharge your cognitive functions. Isnt it about time you gave your brain the culinary love it deserves?Here at Integracare, were more than just a care providerwere a community. We take pride in offering four distinct types of care: assisted living, memory care, independent living, and short-term/respite care. Spread across 18 vibrant communities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, our standards of care remain uniformly high, ensuring the best for our residents. Interested in becoming a part of our community? Wed love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today for more information. Your journey to improved brain health doesnt have to stop at nutritious food; with Integracare, it can be a holistic experience. Your Questions, AnsweredCan these foods boost my memory? Absolutely! Many of these foods are known to support memory and cognition.How soon will I notice the effects on my brain health? Brain health is a marathon, not a sprint. A nutritious diet will yield long-term benefits.Can these foods ward off brain diseases? While no diet can offer a 100% guarantee against brain diseases, a healthy diet can significantly lower your risk.Can I just try supplements instead? Supplements can lend a helping hand, but they shouldnt replace a well-rounded diet. Remember, nothing beats the real thing. Your TurnWith this brainy food guide in your hands, youre ready to give your brain the nourishment it craves. So, why not start today? After all, your brain deserves nothing less than the best. Happy eating to a healthier, smarter you!

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining health and keeping critical bodily functions working properly. Hydration can be a challenge for some seniors because seniors may have a diminished ability to sense thirst, notice changes in body temperature, and may be taking medications that have a dehydrating effect. Keeping a few tips in mind will ensure that seniors stay hydrated and continue to enjoy the activities that bring them joy.Older adults looking to stay hydrated throughout the day should try these tips to get started. Being dehydrated can cause confusion, headaches, elevated heart rate, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Seniors who think they may be dehydrated should discuss their symptoms with their doctor before changing their fluid intake. Seniors should discuss hydration with their doctor as only can a healthcare professional recommend how much water someone needs, and they can also provide guidance and tips on managing water intake. Create a schedule drinking a lot of water in one sitting can be difficult. However, creating a schedule that accounts for daily activity, physician-recommended intake levels, and the preferences of the senior can help keep hydration on track.Eat water-rich foods cucumbers, watermelon, apples, and other water-rich produce can help seniors get more fluids at mealtimes. Broth is also a good option.Make water more interesting For those that dont enjoy drinking water, adding small amounts of juice or flavoring to water can make it less boring. Popsicles are also a great optionespecially on warm days!Reduce water loss excessive sweating can contribute to dehydration keeping inside temperatures at a reasonable level, and being mindful of fluid loss during outside activities, can help seniors stay hydrated.Dont wait for thirst often, when seniors feel thirsty; they may already be dehydrated.Additional TipsCarry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day.Set reminders on your phone or use a kitchen timer to prompt yourself to drink fluids.There are also water bottles available that track your fluid intake.If you find it difficult to drink plain water, consider flavored sparkling water or unsweetened tea.Comfort Keepers Can HelpComfort Keepers can provide support for seniors that are concerned about the issue of hydration. Our caregivers can provide transportation to healthcare appointments, assist with meal preparation and planning, and provide support for physician-prescribed hydration regimens. Our goal is to support physical and emotional care goals and to elevate the spirits of our clients and their families every day.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake. Web. 2016.FamilyDoctor.org. Hydration: Why Its So Important. Web. 2017.Mayo Clinic. Dehydration. Web. 2018.WebMD. What is Dehydration? What Causes It? Web. 2019

Dietary Changes as We Age - Comfort Keepers Western Slope

One in three hospital patients is malnourished upon admission and almost one-third of U.S. patients (31 percent) experiences declines in nutritional status while in the hospital.Dietary needs evolve as people age, and seniors need to know how to manage those changes to maintain physical health and wellness. Older adults need to take an active role in shaping their diet and nutrition habits to ensure more energy, better disease prevention and quality of life.Seniors should consult their physician to discuss their individual needs. Healthcare professionals can also help seniors and their families create and implement healthy eating plans.These plans often include:         Increased protein and fiber intake. Protein and fiber are important nutrients for seniors. Foods high in fiber can help maintain healthy digestive systems as we age, and increasing protein intake can help seniors increase or maintain energy and strength.          Whole grains have multiple benefits. Whole grains are also fiber-rich foods that not only aid the digestive process but promote healthy hearts for seniors. Cereal, rice and bread made with whole grains can easily be found at any grocery store and provide several serving choices to meet recommended daily requirements.         Calcium is a key component in maintaining bone strength. Calcium can help prevent osteoporosis, especially when calcium intake is consistent. Preventing osteoporosis is critical for seniors especially those that are at risk for falls.         Hydration is critical at any age. Physical changes that occur with age make hydration even more important for older adults. For those that are less inclined to drink water, there are alternatives milk, juice and broth are all hydrating liquids, and there are hydrating foods including watermelon, cucumbers and grapes. If engaging in good eating habits is a struggle, there are steps seniors can take to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. In addition to consulting a physician about diet or health concerns they might have, they can also try the following tactics to get back on the right track:         Make meals a social occasion Sharing a meal is one of the most enjoyable ways to ensure that someone is eating well. This can include making something healthy and delicious for others, or reaching out to people that love to cook healthy food and offering them some company at mealtimes.         Make healthy eating fit your budget Good food doesnt have to be expensive. A doctor or nutritionist can point patients to budget friendly, nutritious food options. And maintaining a healthy lifestyle saves money on medical care in the future.         Shop for healthy foods Having a kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meal options is one of the most important steps to maintaining a balanced diet.          Encourage people to ask for help If someone has concerns about their ability to plan healthy meals, shop for the groceries or if they just arent getting the nutrition they need, tell them to ask for help! In-home caregivers, delivery services, family, friends and medical professionals can all help older adults reach their nutrition goals.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf someone is struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, consider getting support from the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers. Our caregivers can help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and can help support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.ReferencesMayo Clinic. Senior health: How to prevent and detect malnutrition. Web. 2017.Next Avenue, Malnutrition is Affecting Too Many Older Adults. Web. 2016.  Public Health Post. Malnutrition in Older Adults. Web. 2017  Healthline. How Your Nutritional Needs Change as you Age. Web. 2017.

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