Garlic has been used in folk medicine for more than 4,000 years, and many recent studies have confirmed just how healthy this root vegetable can be. The benefits of garlic can be especially valuable for seniors. Here are a few reasons to include more of this healthy food in your elderly loved one’s diet.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Over time, high blood pressure can contribute to heart disease and harm the kidneys and eyes, but adding garlic to your loved one’s diet can lower his or her blood pressure levels. Garlic has sulfur-containing molecules the body can use to produce hydrogen sulfide, which helps the blood vessels expand, allowing blood to flow through more easily and decreasing blood pressure levels. A 2013 study found participants who took 600 to 1,500 milligrams of garlic supplements a day were able to keep their blood pressure levels in the normal range.
Seniors who need help shopping for groceries and preparing nutritious meals should consider professional home care. In-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Boosts Immune System
When garlic is chewed, crushed, or chopped, it forms a compound known as allicin, which has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Seniors develop weaker immune systems with age, putting them at greater risk for getting colds and the flu, but garlic can reduce this risk. A 2001 study published in Advances in Therapy found participants who took daily garlic supplements had a 63 percent reduction in colds compared to those who took placebos.
Reduces Glucose Levels
If your loved one is diabetic or has been diagnosed with prediabetes, keeping his or her blood glucose levels in a normal range can prevent certain complications. Eating raw garlic as part of a regular diet may help. A 2006 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found rats that were given raw garlic had dramatically lowered blood glucose levels. Additionally, there was a decrease in their triglyceride and cholesterol levels. When the rats were given cooked garlic, a significant change wasn’t found. Researchers believe cooking the garlic may remove some of the nutritional properties that can lower glucose levels.
A home caregiver can help your loved one get the nutrition he or she needs to enjoy a high quality of life. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Prescott live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Increases Iron Metabolism
The body uses iron to make red blood cells that carry oxygen to various organs and back to the heart. The diallyl sulfides present in garlic can increase the production of ferroportin, a protein that allows the body to release iron and use it as necessary. Including garlic in your loved one’s diet or as a supplement can help him or her absorb iron more effectively, increasing his or her energy.
Increases Bone Density
Postmenopausal women are at particularly high risk for developing osteoporosis, which can lead to serious bone fractures. A study by a research team for the journal Phytotherapy Research found garlic oil increased estrogen levels, thereby slowing the loss of bone density after menopause and preventing osteoporosis from developing.
Eating garlic is just one of the many ways seniors can boost their health and enjoy a high quality of life. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Prescott families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (928) 771-0105 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.