The Mediterranean Diet has become very popular in our society among those seeking a healthier lifestyle while aging. This amazing diet consists of foods that contain antioxidant-rich properties and a variety of important nutrients that act as “bodyguards” to the body’s cells by protecting them against damage. This diet involves eating fruits, nuts, green vegetables, whole grains, seafood, poultry and healthy oils such as olive oil. Family caregivers and in-home caregivers of seniors can enhance their health and well-being by following the Mediterranean Diet. Of course, it is always recommended to check with the senior’s physician prior to trying anything new, which includes special diets. Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc. has put together some interesting facts about this healthy diet for you.
Maintaining any high-quality diet can be a bit overwhelming for some seniors, but experienced home healthcare caregivers can assist them in achieving this goal as meal preparation is a part of their service.
Benefits Of A Mediterranean Diet:
- Healthy Heart – Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean Diet can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Limiting the intake of processed food and saturated fat encourages more intake of healthy foods like nuts, legumes, fruits, olive oil and vegetables.
- Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases – The Mediterranean Diet has been credited with lowering the risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer (e.g., breast and colorectal cancer), and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Weight Management – The Mediterranean Diet involves consuming low carbohydrates and high protein food thereby enhancing whole, nutrient-dense foods and encouraging portion control beneficial for weight management. It also enhances the consumption of high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. When used in conjunction with caloric restriction, the diet may also support healthy weight loss.
- Anti-inflammatory Effects – Research has shown that those following the Mediterranean Diet have lower rates of fatty liver disease, bowel cancer and insulin resistance. This is because chronic inflammation is associated with various diseases and so reducing inflammation through a healthy diet can have wide-ranging benefits. Examples of these anti-inflammatory foods are:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and kale,
- Nuts, like cashews, almonds and walnuts
- Fruits such as oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and apples
- Brain Health – The Mediterranean Diet has been known to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing age-related cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer and Dementia in seniors. The vitamins, minerals and other compounds in the Mediterranean Diet allows brain cells to receive the oxygen and important nutrients needed to keep neurons healthy.
- Improved longevity – Following a Mediterranean Diet has been associated with increased lifespan of seniors past the age of 100 and also reduces their risk of premature death due to certain illnesses.
The Mediterranean Diet is not only healthy for seniors but can be beneficial for all ages. Remember, “a healthy outside starts from the inside”. Bon Appetit!
Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc. offers quality home healthcare in the Raleigh/Durham area. Call (919) 301-0236 today to schedule an in-home assessment.