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Walnuts: Why They Are Healthy for Seniors

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Diet becomes increasingly important with age. If your senior loved one isn’t already focused on including more nutritious foods in his or her diet, it’s never too late to start. Many nutritional experts believe walnuts are one of the healthiest snacks a senior can eat. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care Fort Myers families trust, wants to share a few of the benefits your loved one can gain from regular consumption of these tasty tree nuts.

Prevent Prostate Cancer

Seniors may be able to reduce their risk of prostate cancer by eating just a small handful of walnuts daily. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio performed a study on a group of mice and found only 18 percent of the group that incorporated walnuts into their diets developed prostate tumors, while 44 percent of those that didn’t consume walnuts did develop tumors. The researchers also discovered the tumors were smaller and grew at a slower rate in the group of mice that consumed the walnuts.

Promote Bone and Joint Strength

Eating walnuts can help seniors who have or are at risk for osteoporosis and arthritis. Walnuts contain an essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. If your loved one consumes this fatty acid on a regular basis, his or her inflammation may decrease, which can help keep his or her bones and joints strong and healthy.

Increase Cognitive Function

Researchers at UCLA conducted a study with subjects up to the age of 90. One group of participants consumed a handful of walnuts daily, while another group didn’t eat any. The researchers performed a series of 6 cognitive tests, and the results revealed the people who ate the walnuts performed much better on every test. The researchers also found it promising that the participants over 60 who ate the walnuts scored higher on the recall exam than those who didn’t eat them. These results led researchers to believe walnuts might be beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s.

Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Eating walnuts regularly can help reduce your loved one’s risk of diabetes. Walnuts contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are good for increasing insulin sensitivity. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health found participants who ate at least 1 ounce of walnuts 5 times a week reduced their chances of getting type 2 diabetes by about 30 percent.

If your loved one is allergic to walnuts or doesn’t like how they taste, there are still plenty of foods he or she can eat to remain healthy. For more information on senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained to help seniors maintain healthy diets, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Fort Myers seniors can rely on. To learn more and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please call 239.449.4701 today.