In 2002, a report from the World Health Organization claimed 4 of the 20 countries with the highest life expectancies were from the Mediterranean region (France, Italy, Spain, and Greece). This is likely due in no small part to the diets commonly followed in these areas. In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has become more popular in the United States, and seniors have been discovering some strong health benefits from making the switch. Prescott in-home care experts want to share some of the ways the Mediterranean diet can boost your elderly loved one’s health.
High in Fiber
The Mediterranean diet is filled with high-fiber foods such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, and fresh produce. This is especially important for older individuals who need around 30 grams of fiber per day. Fiber normalizes the digestive tract, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, and boosts the immune system.
Medical issues ranging from cardiovascular disease to arthritis can result from inflamed soft tissue, and some studies suggest the Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation. In addition to anti-inflammatory seafood such as sardines and tuna, this diet is also filled with olive oil. Around 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day can decrease your loved one’s risk of heart disease by as much as 10 percent.
Low in Processed Sugar
Refined sugar can be found in almost all processed foods, which is why the average American consumes over 20 teaspoons per day. In larger quantities, refined sugar leeches the body of vitamins and minerals while packing on pounds. The Mediterranean diet eliminates almost all processed sugar and replaces it with healthier options such as honey. A 2012 study conducted at the University of California revealed refined sugar also negatively impacts a senior’s cognitive abilities.
Promotes Heart Health
According to the CDC, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. The Mediterranean diet can reduce your loved one’s risk of heart disease by limiting unhealthy fats and increasing his or her intake of plant-based foods. Red wine is another major component of the Mediterranean diet, and this beverage is filled with an important substance known as resveratrol. This unique compound acts as a barrier against bad cholesterol and prevents plaque from building up in the heart and arteries.
One of the keys to living a longer and healthier life is maintaining a nutritious diet. At Home Care Assistance, we created the Balanced Care Method to capture lifestyle factors such as these and apply them to our in-home care services. In addition to our hourly and live-in care services, we also offer specialized stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s home care Prescott families trust. For more information on nutritious dietary options for your loved one, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 928-771-0105 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.