Wholesome nutrition for dementia patients doesn’t have to be a cause of worry. Here’s a list of nutrient-rich foods that can improve the patient’s quality of life.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in memory or brain function that impacts an individual’s daily life. This is markedly different and much more severe from the normal decrease in short-term memory that most people experience as they get older. Dementia is caused by changes in the brain. This impacts cognitive function, memory, and behaviour changes. Dementia often also paves the way for disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.
Advanced dementia patients may forget to eat, and eventually don’t feel hunger as a result of depression, medication side effects and cognitive decline. A healthy and balanced diet, however, can make a big difference in dementia’s regression. The nutrients found in certain foods not only feed the body, they also feed the brain. Including these following food items in a dementia patient’s diet may bring about a positive change.
1. Brussel sprouts
Brussel sprouts have shown to retain memory. They contain carotenoids and folate, which lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked with cognitive impairment.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, the antioxidant in cocoa powder. This helps in improving blood flow to the brain. The darker the chocolate, the better for the patient, since they will be getting more flavanols and less added sugar.
Blueberries contain flavonoids, which activate brain pathways associated with less cellular ageing. Consuming half a cup of blueberries thrice a work can do wonders.
Olives are a rich source of Vitamin E, antioxidants and mono-saturated fats. Vitamin E protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and improves cellular ageing.
Beans are high in fibre and protein, and low in calories and fat. They also help keep the mind sharp. Research shows that eating beans three times a week to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.