Walnuts are rich in nutrients with specific benefits for the elderly, and eating a diet that includes about an ounce of them daily can give seniors a boost in many areas of their health. Naples part-time care experts want to share a few reasons why eating walnuts can be beneficial for your aging loved one.
Promote Heart Health
A 2011 study discovered walnuts contain twice as many omega-3 fatty acids as other nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent free radical damage that leads to cardiovascular disease, and the heart-healthy antioxidants found in walnuts can also lower your loved one’s risk for cardiovascular disease and reduce inflammation, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Boost Cognitive and Memory Function
Several studies have shown walnuts aid cognitive and memory function, especially in the elderly. A study by the Agricultural Research Service showed aged mice who ate walnuts as 2-6 percent of their diets performed better on age-related cognitive and motor tasks. Those that ate more walnuts did not do as well, suggesting more is not always better. Another study in the American Journal of Epidemiology also suggests the high concentration of vitamin E in walnuts helps prevent cognitive decline in the elderly.
Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer
If your loved one is at risk for prostate cancer or has been diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, walnuts may be a positive addition to his diet. A study in the 2003 JAMA Internal Medicine found men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer who added an ounce of walnuts plus olive oil to their daily diets were significantly less likely to develop advanced stage prostate cancer than those who did not.
Decrease the Physical Effects of Aging
Walnuts are especially rich in vitamins B and E. This combination helps reduce the aging of cells, and it can make your loved one’s skin and hair look and feel better. These healthy nuts are also packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which promote healthy skin.
Assist with Sleep
Eating walnuts may help your loved one get a better rest each night. Heart-healthy fats like those contained in walnuts are known to help relieve senior insomnia. Studies have shown eating a handful of walnuts before bed can help serve this purpose. Besides the healthful fats, walnuts also contain protein, which promotes muscle relaxation.
If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy diet, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained in preparing nutritious meals for seniors, and they can even go grocery shopping to buy the foods your loved one needs to remain healthy. For more information on the senior care Naples families trust, call one of our friendly Client Care Managers to schedule a free in-home consultation.