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It is well known that the foods we eat have a direct impact on our health. Still, the focus is often on physical health rather than mental function. Whether they live with you or in a Boynton Beach assisted living community, they may be able to stave off cognitive decline.

However, international researchers have found that eating a high-quality diet can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older people. One large-scale study showed that elderly people who ate the most nutritious foods were able to reduce their risk of cognitive decline by almost 25 percent when compared to those with the poorest diets. Based on the research, vegetables, fruits, fish and nuts can help to protect the brain as one ages. If you have an elderly parent or relative, you’ll want to ensure they have the best possible diet.  Let’s look at some of the foods that can improve mental health.

Cold-Water Fish

Your loved one may get a brain boost from eating salmon, tuna, halibut or sardines a few times each week. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids including

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is the fatty acid that’s found in the highest concentration in the brain. If an individual has more DHA in their blood, their brain is likely to function better. Low levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to smaller brain volume and reduced mental performance.

Green Vegetables

Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and dark, leafy greens can help to improve memory. Spinach is high in folic acid, beta carotene, and vitamin K and some studies show that it can help to prevent dementia, especially in women. Older people may benefit from at least one serving of spinach per day along with kale, asparagus, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts. If your loved one is in the memory care unit of a Boynton Beach assisted living community, you can be sure they’ll get meals tailored to their needs.

Blueberries

Blueberries have been called a superfood. There is some evidence that they may improve short term memory loss and limit the effects of dementia. Blueberries contain antioxidants that can protect the brain.

Walnuts

Walnuts look just like small brains so it’s no surprise that they can contribute to brain health. They’re rich in vitamin E which traps free radicals that would otherwise damage the brain cells. At least one study found that there was a lower risk of Alzheimer’s in people who consumed high levels of vitamin E.

Green Tea

What your loved one drinks can also affect their mental health. Green tea can boost mental function and reduce mental fatigue thanks to the vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes it contains. It also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that can help to stop beta-amyloid proteins from damaging the brain cells.

Get Your Elderly Loved One the Care They Need at a Boynton Beach Assisted Living Community

There’s no need to worry that your loved one won’t get a nutritious diet when they reside at an assisted living center in Boynton Beach. At Courtyard Gardens Senior Living, residents get gourmet meals that support their mental and physical wellbeing. Call us today to learn more about what we have to offer.

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