Mental health issues are a real concern in seniors, with the American Psychological Association estimating 20.4 percent of adults over the age of 65 are affected. You can help your senior loved one feel better day in and day out by making simple dietary changes that incorporate these top seven mood-boosting foods, recommended by Palm Beach senior care provider, Home Care Assistance.
1. Fish. Not only is fish rich in omega-3-fatty acids, which protect heart health, but these oils also increase dopamine levels in the brain and boost overall mood. Fish is a rich source of fatigue-fighting iron, too. And, iron helps prevent anemia—a common health concern in seniors.
2. Healthy carbs. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, and they also help the brain make serotonin, the chemical known for its feel-good effects. Offer your loved one whole grain bread, steel oats, bran cereal and whole wheat pasta for meals that will promote a better mood.
3. Beans. Not only are beans a low-fat protein source, but all varieties contain the B vitamin folate, an essential nutrient proven to prevent depression.
4. Citrus fruits. All fruits are good for you, but the vitamin C in citrus fruits acts as both an antioxidant and refreshing immune-booster. Citrus can also prevent mental and muscle fatigue.
5. Bananas. The potassium content of this fruit helps regulate sodium levels, and also calms the mind. Having a banana before bed may even also induce better sleep.
5. Green tea. Rich in antioxidants, green tea is a great alternative to the high caffeine content found in coffee. Add a touch of honey for a sweet cup that will be sure to make your loved one feel better any time of day.
7. A glass of water. Seniors can’t recognize the symptoms of dehydration like younger adults can, so proper hydration is a must for better mood and energy. Avoid using coffee or alcohol to boost mood—coffee is a dehydrating stimulant that can worsen anxiety, and alcohol is a depressant.
Learn more about senior nutrition by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced Palm Beach caregivers can grocery shop, cook healthy meals, provide mobility support during physical exercise, offer medication reminders, and promote an overall healthy lifestyle and high quality of life for your senior loved one. Call (561) 429-8292 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and schedule your free in-home consultation.