Within the facilities at Avamere at Mountain Ridge, one of the assisted living services we pride ourselves most on is our memory care program. We’re honored to provide caring, quality services to seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory conditions, helping our residents feel more comfortable while retaining their independence wherever possible.
Numerous factors go into this care, including one many people – even senior caregivers – may not have realized: Diet. Per a study by the American Academy of Neurology based on thousands of people in 40 countries, there is significant evidence that several specific food types offer a major reduction in the likelihood of a memory decline with aging compared to those who have a less healthy diet. Let’s go over some of the best possible foods here, including many that are in our normal dietary rotation here in our facilities.
ALA Fatty Acids
Our first two entries are similar, both referring to acids in the blood that appear to play a role in maintaining brain and memory health. Mice fed a diet rich in walnuts, which contain a high quantity of ALA fatty acids, showed major improvements in learning and memory.
Apart from walnuts, you can find ALA fatty acids in flaxseed, which can be added to a variety of other food types easily. Flaxseed also simultaneously provides a great dose of fiber, which regulates blood sugar, cholesterol and even digestion.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are several omega-3 fatty acids out there, and several of them are known to reduce the development of plaques in the brain that lead to memory loss. They also help reduce inflammation, which is connected with dementia in many people.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a variety of fish types, particularly cold-water options like tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel or sardines. For seniors who do not enjoy fish, a physician can recommend fish oil supplements instead.
Glial cells are brain cells that make up the vast majority of its tissue, protecting nerve cells from any trauma or damage. Foods like berries, particularly blackberries and blueberries, protect the glial cells.
Another enzyme in the brain that promotes memory and learning is acetylcholine, which is found in ginger root. It also prevents production of acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine. This is a similar process to what’s often found in drugs treating Alzheimer’s, only in natural form and with additional benefits like reducing inflammation and preventing free radical formation.
Finally, those reliable leafy greens are fantastic for memory care and overall brain health. Even a single daily serving of greens like spinach, kale or similar items can slow cognitive decline based on the folate, vitamin K and beta-carotene present in these foods.
For more on the kinds of foods that promote memory care, or to learn about any of our senior living services, speak to the staff at Avamere at Mountain Ridge today.