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7 Foods That Can Lead to a Longer Life

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The key to a longer life is to avoid and control diseases and conditions that may affect your senior loved one. Adding these foods to your loved one’s life can help him or her be healthier and stronger so you can enjoy spending time together for years to come.

1. Avocados

Avocados were once discouraged by health experts because of their high fat content, but recent research has shown the benefits of including avocados as part of a healthy diet. Avocados contain a potent antioxidant called xanthophyll. A 2013 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that xanthophyll reduces the effects of aging on the body.

Preparing a nutrient-rich meal can be challenging for some seniors, but a professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain a healthy diet. When considering home care, Birmingham, AL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

2. Coffee

A cup of coffee can do more than help your loved one get going in the morning. It can also prolong his or her life. Coffee contains powerful antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging the heart and causing cancer cell mutations to develop. A 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that over 13 years, study participants who regularly drank coffee had a decreased chance of dying when compared with those who didn’t drink it.

3. Salmon

Salmon, particularly wild salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been known for their heart-healthy benefits, but recent research has linked them to longevity. A study done by researchers at Ohio State University found that people who regularly consumed omega-3 fatty acids had longer telomeres. Telomeres are found in DNA and are linked to longevity. 

4. Olive Oil

Strokes kill more than 130,000 people in the United States each year. Approximately 75 percent of these deaths are people over the age of 65. Including more olive oil in your loved one’s diet may reduce his or her stroke risk. Recent research from the American Academy of Neurology found people who regularly cooked with olive oil reduced their risk of stroke by 41 percent.

Switching to healthier options can decrease symptoms of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes in aging adults. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Birmingham home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

5. Green Tea

Drinking green tea regularly has a host of health benefits, including greater longevity. Green tea contains catechins, which have been found to reduce the risk of cancer. A study done by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville found that senior women who drank green tea at least three times a week reduced their risk of developing esophageal and stomach cancer by 17 percent.

6. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are high in antioxidants that have been found to protect the heart. The American Heart Association estimates that 42 million seniors over the age 60 have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, and it is currently the leading cause of death for both men and women. Including pomegranates in your loved one’s diet can boost his or her heart health. A 2011 study by British researchers found that drinking one glass of pomegranate juice every day reduces blood pressure and inflammation.

7. Dark Chocolate

Having an occasional treat of dark chocolate can reduce inflammation in your loved one’s body, which lowers the risk of cancer. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have been linked to longevity. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that men who ate flavonoids had a 25 percent lower risk of death due to heart disease and cancer.

Many seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals, switching to healthy foods, and making healthy lifestyle choices can benefit from professional in-home care. For families living in Birmingham, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (205) 438-6927.