How Can Leafy Greens Enhance Cognitive Function?

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Everyday lifestyle choices have an impact on the way a senior’s brain functions, and one of the most important choices is the foods he or she eats. Some foods provide the brain with the nutrients and minerals it needs to function normally, especially leafy greens. These vegetables can also boost cognitive health. Take a look at how leafy greens can enhance cognitive health in the senior years.

Provide Vitamin C 

Leafy green vegetables like spinach are full of vitamin C, which is known for boosting the brain and preserving memory. Vitamin C can also protect other oxygen-sensitive nutrients found in leafy green vegetables. The role of vitamin C is important for aging adults, as it’s responsible for collagen production in the connective tissue. The more leafy greens your elderly loved one eats, the more support and mental balance he or she will have. This support can signal the paths and neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for short and long-term memory in addition to critical thinking skills. When you add spinach, collard greens, and other leafy greens to your loved one’s diet, he or she will receive plenty of vitamin C as well as other important nutrients.

Encourage your loved one to prepare nutritious meals that can boost his or her health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Protect against Free Radicals 

Leafy greens contain many vitamins, minerals, phenolics, and antioxidants that protect the brain from harm. Free radicals cause the brain to age at a faster rate, increasing the odds of dementia and Alzheimer’s in addition to other chronic conditions. However, eating leafy greens like broccoli could provide your loved one with antioxidants that fight against free radicals and other harmful toxins in the brain. These free radicals target biomolecules that play a significant role in the development of several age-related conditions. 

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Green Valley seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.

Increase Neural Activity 

Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in leafy greens and other vegetables. It’s known for helping the body fight against harmful toxins and damaging cells that attack the heart and the brain. Instead of leafy greens, seniors are more likely to eat processed foods and sugars that damage the brain and increase the rate of cognitive decline. Sulforaphane is a compound that enhances neural activity, and it can also be used to help with traumatic brain injuries. Kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts are some of the best leafy greens that provide sulforaphane.

Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the biggest factors in poor brain health for aging adults. When seniors are stressed, the excessive amounts of cortisol could impair the hippocampus’s ability to encode and recall memories. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on cognitive functioning in the brain. However, eating leafy greens, especially spinach, kale, turnip greens, and collard greens, can help seniors manage stress. These vegetables are full of folate, a B vitamin that provides mood-regulating neurotransmitters that can prevent confusion, forgetfulness, and other health issues caused by stress. 

Professional caregivers can reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies by helping seniors prepare healthy meals at home. In Green Valley, 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. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 520-625-2050.