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The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods for SeniorsMay 16, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
Chronic inflammation is one of the common health concerns in seniors. In some cases, it could lead to many other complications as well, such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and arthritis. That is why assisted living communities make sure to include foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties in the diet of their residents. This helps to combat chronic inflammation and prevent the chances of many health conditions that are associated with aging. Below are some of the anti-inflammatory foods that are very beneficial for seniors.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are known to contain antioxidants and polyphenols, which can fight against inflammation efficiently. Seniors are advised to eat a minimum of five servings per day of anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables. The best vegetables for that include broccoli, peppers, and leafy greens like spinach and kale. The best fruits for that are tomatoes, avocados, grapes, berries, cherries, and oranges.
The fiber and protein content in beans, such as red kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans, will keep seniors full, while the antioxidants and magnesium content in them will help to reduce inflammation. Assisted living facilities include at least a cup of beans in the diet of their residents twice a week to reap their anti-inflammatory benefits.
Nuts are known to be rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Some nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, also have omega-3 fatty acids, which can work to reduce inflammation. Senior care communities include nuts in the diet either directly or in the form of snacks for their residents.
Many types of fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, and sardines, are found to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, which can fight inflammation effectively. Including such fatty fish varieties in the diet at least twice a week can give great inflammation-fighting power to seniors.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It is known to be rich in healthy fat and antioxidants. Studies say that a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can lower the risk of heart disease in seniors. It is also found to be beneficial in fighting cancer to some extent.
Green tea contains many antioxidants and polyphenols. However, the epigallocatechin-3-gallate content in green tea makes it exceptionally good for combating inflammation. Besides, substituting sugary beverages with unsweetened green tea can also be a much refreshing option to fight heart diseases, diabetes, and dehydration in seniors.
Including anti-inflammatory foods does not necessarily mean giving up on the desserts. If the health conditions of seniors do not restrict it, then consuming dark chocolate can be very beneficial for their health. Dark chocolate contains flavonols and antioxidants, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can even work to reduce the risk of heart diseases and other chronic conditions in seniors.
Soy products, such as soy protein or soymilk, can also be beneficial to seniors because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are naturally cholesterol-free as well as low in saturated fat. Soy products can also increase plant protein in the body. However, soymilk and soy protein may not be recommended to seniors with specific health conditions.
It is also important to avoid some foods that could lead to chronic inflammation. This includes refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries, fried foods, sugary beverages and soda, trans fat, as well as processed and red meats. That can help to avoid the other health complications associated with chronic inflammation, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.