Eat These Foods to Improve Memory for Seniors

Posted on 06/01/2021

Food can become so many things throughout our lives—a comfort, a reward, a celebration, or even a source of anxiety. The one thing many people, including seniors, struggle to understand the relationship between food and health. Many seniors enjoy food but are dismissive of its ultimate purpose: to nourish our bodies and help every organ perform at peak function.

Different types of food provide different benefits to senior health and wellness. Water, for example, can help prevent acne breakouts, sluggishness, and irritability. Fiber helps our digestive systems perform correctly. There are also several types of food available to help keep your memory sharp and your brain functioning at peak levels. The best part is, it’s never too late to start a more balanced diet.

Let’s explore some of these healing foods for senior memory care.

Foods for increased brain function

A good portion of your brain is made up of fats, and half of that fat is of the omega-3 variety. The brain uses these to help build brain cells and neuropathways that are an essential part of the memory system. Eating foods high in omega-3s has been shown to decrease mental decline and also help ward off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases for seniors. In 2017, a study announced a connection between improved cognitive abilities and omega-3 levels in the body.

Here are some foods to help senior memory and brain development:

  • Oily Fish: Fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna have been shown to have a higher concentration of Omega-3s than other kinds of seafood.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans provide a good amount of omega-3s for senior memory care.
  • Avocados: high in health unsaturated fat that help support brain health in seniors

The power of antioxidants on the memory

Many of the processed foods readily available are full of ingredients that increase inflammation within the body. That’s more than salty foods making someone feel bloated or puffy. The damaging effect inflammation can have on the body is a big reason why antioxidants and superfoods have become buzzwords in healthy eating.

Seniors tend to have higher levels of inflammation in the body. This higher-than-normal inflammation has been shown to have a negative impact on brain functions, including memory and speed of processing. Studies have also shown that a decrease in cognitive function results in an increased risk of social withdrawal and depression and a decreased quality of life.

When seniors eat antioxidant-rich food, it helps reduce these inflammation markers and results in improved senior memory.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods Seniors Should Eat:

  1. Vitamin E rich foods:
    • Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts
    • Whole-grains: brown rice, barley, oatmeal, whole-grain bread
  2. Flavanoid antioxidants:
    • Berries: Strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries
    • Dark chocolate – (70% dark or higher)
    • Coffee
  3. B-6, B-12, and Folic Acid:
    • Eggs – high in the B-vitamins and Folic Acid some research shows could prevent brain shrinkage and even delay cognitive decline
  4. Glucosinolates:
    • Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and turnips
  5. Spices:
    • Turmeric/Curcumin
    • Cinnamon
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Oregano

It’s not too late to start

It may seem pointless to start eating better when you’re older in age. After all, your prime years are behind you. Right? Wrong. Having a more active retirement life starts with a healthier lifestyle that includes a balance known as holistic health for seniors. This includes more physical activity, mental stimulation, social engagements, and a balanced and nutritious diet.

When it comes to brain health, there isn’t a lot of difference between a young adult’s brain and one that’s closer to the centurion mark. A recent study by John Hopkins comprised of 6,000 individuals between 44 and 84 years of age revealed an 80 percent decrease in death in people who made positive lifestyle changes and kept them up during the seven-year period.

Living an active retirement life starts here

Changing the foods you consume can help you feel better overall and decrease your chance of senior memory decline as you age. Why not do everything you can to truly enjoy your retirement years?

Cooking with new foods and finding new, nutritious meals should not be stressful. If you're not feeling up for cooking, LivGenerations provides gourmet meals for residents to enjoy. Gourmet meals don't have to be unhealthy and healthy meals don't have to be tasteless. Discover a wide selection of high-quality and delicious meals that are good for your body, regardless of your specialized dietary needs. The best part? The menus are updated to provide fresh options throughout the year.

Living in an active senior community gives you the ability to live the lifestyle you want without the stress of managing a home, worrying about coordinating home healthcare workers and house cleaners, or the stress of getting to appointments and gatherings with friends.

Luxury retirement living offers gourmet food that is healthy for you, the opportunity to meet new friends that are also neighbors, and a holistic approach to your health. If you need additional assistance, caregivers are onsite to help.

Schedule your personal tour of LivGenerations Mayo, located in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ, and discover how to liv well throughout your senior years.