6 Reasons to Switch to a Plant-Based Diet in the Golden Years

By , 9:00 am on

The components of a typical American diet have been shown to contribute to a variety of medical conditions. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are some of the many conditions affected by diet. However, there are a variety of reasons older adults should switch to a plant-based diet.

1. Slow Aging

Plant-based diets can increase the production of the enzyme telomerase, which is necessary for the health of telomeres on the ends of DNA that aid in cellular reproduction. Under normal conditions, these caps shorten and eventually die. Research performed by the U.S. Department of Defense indicated that telomere activity significantly increased after following a plant-based diet for three months. Fried foods, processed meats, and soda are detrimental to telomere longevity.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Prescott, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Enhance the Skin’s Appearance

As the cells are better able to reproduce, grow, and thrive, the skin’s appearance enhances. Instead of aging prematurely, the skin is better able to hold moisture. Underlying tissues continue adding volume, which prevents fine lines and wrinkles from forming. As a result, seniors enjoy a more youthful appearance.

3. Boost Overall Health

Diets consisting mainly of animal protein contribute to elevated LDL cholesterol levels, which raise the risk of many chronic diseases. However, plant-based diets have the ability to reverse some conditions. Seniors can get sufficient quantities of proteins from beans, legumes, and nuts. Calcium comes from broccoli, kale, and other dark, leafy green vegetables. While plants provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals, seniors may need over-the-counter supplements as directed by their physicians.

4. Increase Energy

Almonds, quinoa, whole grains, and produce are easier for the body to break down and digest compared to processed foods, meats, and dairy products. With digestion happening more rapidly, the body gains energy faster and retains it longer. As such, older adults have more energy to engage in the activities they love.

Even with adequate energy levels, some seniors need help managing daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Prescott seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

5. Promote Cognitive Health

A diet rich in red meat can cause excessive iron accumulation in the brain, which contributes to cell inflammation, damage, and death. However, plant-based diets provide the nutrients needed for proper brain function and offer an abundance of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other compounds that inhibit inflammation and neuron damage. In effect, seniors may enjoy optimal cognitive function.

Plant-based foods are typically high in fiber, which makes seniors feel fuller longer and helps them maintain a healthy weight. Within two weeks of switching to a plant-based diet, older adults have the chance of losing up to five pounds.

Seniors can maintain a high quality of life and stave off various health issues by opting for professional in-home care. In Prescott, 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. To create a customized in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call at 928-771-0105 today.