Guidelines for Healthy Eating from Around the World

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The goal to live a long, healthy life is universal. This is evident when you consider some of the clean eating habits—defined as a diet free of foods that have been processed, artificially flavored and sweetened, or fried—that are common around the world, many of which are noted for extending the productive years of life. If you’re wondering how your senior loved one can enjoy that same longevity, consider the following tips.

Eat More Fish & Seaweed

Fish consumption in Japan is twice what it is in the United States. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease. The Japanese also consume about 100,000 tons of seaweed annually. Available in more than 20 different varieties, seaweed is loaded with potassium and natural iodine. It’s also a dietary staple in Okinawa, a city known for its centenarians.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of encouragement when your loved one is trying to practice healthier habits, including eating more nutritious foods. In-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Drink Red Wine with Meals

French women have the second-longest life spans in the world. Part of the “secret” may include the European habit of having wine with meals. An ingredient in red wine (resveratrol) that provides natural protection against heart disease has been identified as a possible reason Europeans who follow diets that include the regular and moderate consumption of red wine tend to live longer.

Embrace Plant-Based Foods

An Australian study of the diets of people in the “blue zone”—identified as parts of the world (including Greece, Costa Rica, Sardinia, and parts of Japan) with higher than average life expectancy rates—found meals in these areas primarily include plant-based foods. People in the blue zone consume about a cup of beans per day and enjoy lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.

Family caregivers need to maintain healthy lifestyles too, which involves taking time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Wellesley, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Fill Up on Fiber

In Ethiopia, main dishes are primarily full of fiber-rich foods such as lentils, beans, and root vegetables. Foods high in fiber aid in proper digestion, stabilize appetite, and may also lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. If you want to further emulate the Ethiopian diet, lower your fat consumption by only using animal and dairy products occasionally.

Add Flavor with Spices

Indian cuisine has much less salt and sugar than traditional dishes from other countries. Indian cooks flavor their food with wholesome spices such as saffron and turmeric. In addition to enhancing the taste of food, certain herbs and spices can have beneficial health effects. For instance, turmeric and red pepper can reduce cholesterol levels, and garlic lowers the amount of lipids in the blood, which in turn can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Before your loved one makes any dietary changes, he or she should check with the doctor first to avoid possible health risks. For instance, certain medications don’t mix well with alcohol, which could negate any benefits your loved one gets from moderate wine consumption.

A professional caregiver can be a terrific source of support for a senior who needs a hand with planning and preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (781) 239-0060 today.

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