5 Ways the Mediterranean Diet Benefits Older Adults

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Researchers wanted to know why aging adults in the Mediterranean region lived longer than seniors in other areas of the world, and they found that diet played a major role. The Mediterranean diet promotes healthy food choices, doesn’t require counting calories, and offers the following health benefits for older adults. 

1. Boosts Cardiovascular Health 

The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 30 percent. The diet is free from saturated and trans fats that contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol. While lowering bad cholesterol, the diet also raises HDL, or good cholesterol levels. Olive oil, oily fish, and nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that help seniors maintain vascular health and keep blood pressure in check.

Switching to the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices older adults should consider. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elderly care, The Woodlands Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.  

2. Protects Cognitive Health 

Omega-3 fatty acids protect neurons, and the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables fight the free radicals that lead to cellular damage. The Mediterranean diet protects the delicate vascular system in the brain, which enables neurons to function at peak levels without interference from diseases. The diet also restricts processed foods, which are generally high in unhealthy fats and sugar. These substances have been known to cause inflammation, which damages blood vessels and neurons. When the vascular system works properly, the brain effectively eliminates harmful chemical compounds. 

3. Inhibits Cancer

As adults get older, their risk of developing malignancies increases. However, the antioxidants and other chemical compounds obtained from the Mediterranean diet prevent free radical damage that causes DNA mutations and tumor growth. Seniors who stick to the Mediterranean diet report fewer incidents of bowel and colon cancer.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Kingwood families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.  

4. Reduces Frailty

Researchers from University College London studied the effects of the Mediterranean Diet on nearly 5,800 seniors living in many different countries. The diet is relatively easy to follow and provides a wealth of much-needed nutrients. After observing senior citizens for four years, the group found that those eating the Mediterranean diet enjoyed increased overall health and healthy weights. Seniors who ate healthy foods were less likely to become frail compared to those who ate unhealthy meals. 

5. Facilitates Weight Loss 

Gaining weight puts stress on the cardiovascular system. Living a cycle of gaining, losing, and regaining weight also leads to health conditions such as certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and muscle atrophy. Eating healthier, low-calorie foods and getting regular physical activity can help seniors maintain a healthy weight.

Some seniors need help preparing nutritious meals at home. 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. North Houston seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 832-412-1345 today.