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The 7 Best Foods for Individuals with Dementia to Include in Their Diet

The 7 Best Foods for Individuals with Dementia to Include in Their Diet

An array of healthy foods laid out on a table including salmon, blueberries, veggies, and nuts

At CountryHouse, we believe in offering our residents more than just a space to live; we offer a home where they can feel comfortable, cared for, and maintain their independence. As a specialized memory care residence, we cater specifically to those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Our approach isn’t just about the surroundings; it extends to every facet of our residents’ lives, including their diet.

That being said, you might be curious about the role that nutrition plays in bolstering senior health, especially those who use memory care services, such as what we offer at our dementia care in Elkhorn. Our blog has some insightful information you won’t want to miss!

Why Is Proper Nutrition Important for Senior Health?

Proper nutrition is fundamental for everyone, but it’s even more crucial for seniors, particularly those living with cognitive challenges. The body’s nutritional requirements change as we age, and ensuring that these needs are met can drastically improve the quality of life. A well-balanced diet can help boost energy levels, improve mental acuteness, increase resistance to illness, and speed up recovery times.

For those with dementia, good nutrition can potentially slow the progression of the disease and improve overall brain function. Moreover, it aids in maintaining physical health, ensuring seniors have the strength and energy to engage in daily activities and social interactions.

The Best Nutritious Foods to Try

Now that you have a little background information on why proper nutrition is vital for those living with dementia, it’s time to explore some of the best foods to include into your diet. Below, we’ve compiled a list of delicious, nutrient dense foods that can easily be incorporated into everyday snack and meals. 

#1.) Leafy Greens

Rich in vitamin K, folate, and antioxidants, these can help boost brain health. In addition to this, leafy greens are also great for supporting vision and skin health and bolstering your immune system. The high antioxidant content in leafy greens has been linked to reducing risk of cancer and heart disease.

How to include: Add spinach, kale, or Swiss chard to salads, omelets, or smoothies. You can also lightly sauté them with garlic for a tasty side dish.

#2.) Berries 

Berries aren’t just delicious, but they are also extremely good for you! In fact, berries have a number of health benefits, including helping to lower the risk of diabetes as well decrease inflammation in the body. Blueberries are a great choice for older adults as they are known for their antioxidants which can delay brain aging and improve memory. 

How to include: Mix them into cereals, oatmeal, or yogurt. They’re also great as snacks or blended into smoothies.

#3.) Fish 

Want a high protein main course that isn’t red meat or chicken? Fish has you covered! Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are especially good for you as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for brain health. Including it even once a week can really go a long way in maintaining your overall health and wellbeing. 

How to include: Grilled or baked salmon can be a weekly dinner choice. Tuna can easily be added to salads or sandwiches for a quick addition of protein. 

A happy senior couple enjoying their salad at the dementia care in Elkhorn

#4.) Nuts 

Now that fall is here, nuts are a staple snack being sold on the grocery shelves. This choice is both a yummy, quick treat as well as a great source of healthy fats. Additionally, nuts can support brain function and health.

How to include: Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts can be added to salads, yogurt, or consumed as a midday snack. Add peanuts to candy corn for an easy fall treat that can be shared with others.  

#5.) Whole Grains

If you are worried about heart health, there is no better choice than opting for whole grain foods. They are known for being high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Whole-grain foods can also help you maintain better control of cholesterol levels, weight, and blood pressure. 

How to include: Switch to whole grain bread or pasta. Quinoa and brown rice can be used as bases for various dishes.

#6.) Turmeric 

This spice isn’t just for flavoring some of your favorite dishes. In fact, it contains curcumin which has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and has anti-inflammatory properties. If you are someone who is living with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, turmeric could really be useful. 

How to include: Add a pinch to smoothies, soups, or curries. Turmeric tea is also a warming beverage option, making it a perfect choice for the fall weather. 

#7.) Oranges and Citrus Fruits 

Packed with vitamin C, they can help prevent cognitive decline as well as bolster your immune system. With cold and flu season right around the corner, stocking up on citrus fruits is always a good idea. 

How to include: Freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast, adding lemon zest to salads, or simply enjoying a citrus fruit as an afternoon snack.

Focus On Your Health at CountryHouse

Dementia care in Elkhorn, as offered by CountryHouse, goes beyond basic necessities. Our community boasts of multipurpose activity areas where residents can engage in games, crafts, and even chapel services. We recognize the major benefits that come from minor considerations. Imagine a resident kitchen where the aroma of baking can spark a fond memory from years past or an in-house salon where residents can feel pampered and rejuvenated without stepping outside.

Safety and comfort are paramount in dementia care services in Elkhorn. This is evident in our thoughtfully designed spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Residents can walk, explore, and reconnect with nature in our secured outdoor spaces. The essence of CountryHouse lies in the balance it strikes between care and independence, between safety and freedom.

That being said, while diet plays a crucial role in dementia care, the overall environment and the quality of dementia care services in Elkhorn provided are equally, if not more, important. CountryHouse stands as a testament to this holistic approach, offering not just a residence, but a home filled with love, care, and understanding for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

To learn more about our incredible community or to schedule a tour, please contact us today!

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