Senior Living: Neurologist approved foods and brain health
From the earliest of times, it was believed by researchers and scientists that there is a direct relationship between the food we consume and our body’s physical development. Recent studies have identified the influence of specific dietary factors on the cognitive functions and development of the brain. This is quite evident when observing the size and shape of the human skull over time. The very early skulls were small compared to the size of the modern human skull, which suggests that the eating patterns over the duration of thousands of years has had an influence on brain capacity increase. A vast number of studies have been conducted on the health effects on the brain by various types of foods and components present in foods. These foods provide special benefits when included in your diet. It can be seen today that many assisted living organizations incorporate these food items into their practices to promote healthy brain functions and reduce risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Food and dining are an important cornerstone of senior living programs
Because a healthy and enjoyable diet helps seniors with cognitive healthy, physical health, and generally enjoy retirement, senior living communities like Garden of Palms in Los Angeles go to great effort and expense in order to provide residents with a very high level dining experience similar to restaurant or resort dining amenities. Please browse our menu here.
Certain studies have identified the ability of omega 3 fatty acids to positively affect synaptic plasticity and cognition in individuals.
A synapse is a structure that enables nerve cells (neurons), to pass messages between each other. With the increase and decrease of activity, these synapses can become stronger or weaker. This is known as synaptic plasticity. Omega 3 fatty acids are most commonly found in fish such as trout, mackerel, sardines and salmon. In addition, omega 3s are present in various seeds and nuts such as flaxseed, soybeans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. These fatty acids are essential to the proper function of the brain but are not produced in the body. Including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet by either the form of fish, nuts and seeds or from a supplement form can definitely promote a healthy brain.
Vitamin K plays a role in strengthening cognitive abilities.
It is known for its involvement with sphingolipid metabolism which is abundant in brain cell membranes and for providing protection against oxidative stress. Choline is also an essential nutrient that is identified for its brain health inducing properties. Studies show choline deficiency can lead to neurological disorders. Broccoli is a vegetable that contains both these nutrients and is found to be promoting better memory and overall cognition. It also contains folic acid which can help reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a good amount of broccoli can help promote brain health and also reduce other conditions such as depression.
Blueberries are found to be beneficial to the brain as well.
A research done by the Tufts University identified blueberries as a food that improves memory and also to reverse memory loss. Another study observed that rodents showed better short term memory, faster learning as well as better motor skills. It can also reduce oxidative stress. Whole grains provide a healthy amount of energy to the brain. This improves concentration and whole grains can also reduce risks of heart disease. Inclusion of whole grain products such as whole grain bread, oatmeal and brown rice as a replacement to refined grain products such as white bread can provide major benefits in both brain related and heart related conditions.
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If you’re exploring senior living options in Los Angeles for a family member, please visit Garden of Palms for a tour or contact us for more information about our retirement community.
Ferland, G. (2013). Vitamin K and Brain Function. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, 39(08), pp.849-855.
Goldhill, O. (2017). Brain food: 6 snacks that are good for the mind. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11364896/Brain-food-6-snacks-that-are-good-for-the-mind.html [Accessed 29 Nov. 2017].