It’s no secret that eating a nutritious diet can have a positive impact on an older person’s health, and many experts on senior nutrition recommend consuming plenty of whole grains each day for this reason. Here are a few of the ways whole grains can help older adults remain healthy.
Reduce Insulin Drops & Spikes
Whole grains contain fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels stable is important for preventing dangerous drops and spikes in insulin levels, and eating plenty of whole grains may help seniors maintain healthy blood sugar levels or even reduce their dependence on diabetes medications. In one study that focused on the effects of eating a diet with plenty of whole grains and fiber, 21 out of 23 people on oral diabetes medications and 13 out of 17 people on insulin were able to stop using their medications after 26 days.
Provide Important Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies often go hand in hand with aging. Whole grains are a good source of folate and other B vitamins, iron, selenium, and magnesium. Folate plays a key part in neurological health, magnesium and iron are crucial for cardiovascular health, and many seniors have low B vitamin and selenium levels. Getting these vitamins naturally from food provides more nutrients and fewer side effects than taking supplements.
A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information on nutrition and how your loved one can live a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
A high-fiber diet provides feelings of satiety, which can help overweight seniors lower their calorie intake and lose weight. Whole grains also reduce body fat in key areas like the dangerous “belly fat” associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
If your loved one has difficulty shopping for food or preparing nutritious meals, consider adding a professional caregiver to your family’s caregiving team. In Rhode Island, homecare services providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Unchecked inflammation in the body can exacerbate the symptoms of poor digestive health and conditions like arthritis, and inflammation can also lead to heart disease and cancer. Eating whole grains cuts C-reactive protein levels, which are directly tied to inflammation.
Boost Digestive Health
Many elderly people experience acid reflux, indigestion, and bowel irregularity. Eating whole grains can decrease the symptoms of conditions such as these and add bulk to stools, and it can also reduce the dependence on laxatives, digestive aids, and acid reducers, some of which may trigger nutritional deficiencies.
If your loved one has difficulty managing his or her nutritional needs, a professional caregiver can help. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Rhode Island, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (401) 284-0979.