Stress is something your elderly family member can do something about through a variety of different tools. One tool that she might want to explore is her diet. Changing your senior’s diet can have other health effects for her, too. Talk to your senior’s doctor before making any big dietary changes, just to ensure that the changes you plan to make won’t interfere with any treatments that are already part of her care plan.
Probiotic-rich foods are foods that have a lot of beneficial bacteria in them. These are often foods that are cultured, like yogurt, sauerkraut, or kimchi. The healthy bacteria go to work in your senior’s gut and multiply, continuing to enhance her health. There is some evidence that probiotic foods can have a healthy impact on mental health, including how your senior handles stress.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a good type of fat that helps to improve all sorts of health issues for your senior. They can also help to reduce anxiety when taken at certain dosages. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, walnuts, shrimp, tuna, spinach, and oily fish like salmon and sardines. Supplements may also be a good way for your senior to get a consistent level of omega-3 fatty acids.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach also have other nutrients that can help to fight stress. Magnesium is just one of those nutrients, but it’s a potent one. But spinach isn’t your senior’s other option. Arugula, collard greens, chard varieties, and kale are all excellent choices to add to the dark leafy greens category. Salads, smoothies, and including these veggies in dishes your senior already loves are all great ways to up her intake.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries medicinally as well as for flavorings. Lavender, chamomile, and valerian all have soothing properties. Ginger and turmeric can help with inflammation and possibly with stress and anxiety, too. If using herbs medicinally, talk with your senior’s doctor about how they might interact with any prescription medications that your elderly family member takes.
Eating some of these foods can take a lot more time and energy than your elderly family member wants to devote to cooking right now. She might find that handing cooking and meal preparation over to home care services providers gives her a chance to eat healthy foods all day long without having to do the tough part herself.