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. Fort Myers, FL, respite home care experts discuss a few of the ways whole grains can help the elderly remain healthy.
Reduce Insulin Drops and Spikes
Whole grains contain fiber, which helps slow 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 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 and 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.
Help Control Weight
A high-fiber diet provides feelings of satiety, which can help overweight seniors lower their calorie intake and lose weight. Whole grains also help reduce body fat in key areas like the dangerous “belly fat” associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
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.
To learn more about the nutritious foods your aging loved one should be eating, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can prepare healthy meals, go grocery shopping, and assist with a wide array of other important tasks around the house. For more information on home care Fort Myers seniors can rely on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 239.449.4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.