Inflammation in the human body is normal. In fact, it is how our body protects itself against potential viruses and infections.
But when inflammation in your body turns from mild to chronic, it can increase the risk of many illnesses – cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s are to name a few.
Seniors should be aware of the importance of anti-inflammatory food because most of them develop ‘inflammageing’ at some point, which is a “condition characterized by high inflammation markers.”
This condition causes disability and even premature death in the elderly. That is why the caretakers need to look for an experienced and knowledgeable companion when they start looking for the best paid elderly companion near me in Chelmsford.
Also, because many paid companions are responsible for everyday cooking for the elderly, they need to know what they should or shouldn’t use in the senior’s diet to ward off inflammation-related illnesses.
Anti-inflammatory Diet for Seniors
Here’s the list of foods you should avoid (or use in moderation) to keep your elderly’s inflammation levels in check:
Foods to Avoid
Refined carbs, such as white rice and pasta, can break down into sugars. Excessive consumption of such foods can increase inflammation in the elderly. You can either use them sparingly or exclude them altogether by switching to whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-grain bread, and more.
Read meat/processed meat
Processed foods like bacon and sausages are high in saturated fat. That means using such types of foods can also contribute to your elderly’s rising inflammation levels.
Instead of using processed meats, you can prepare food from lean white meats and fish, which can help seniors live a healthier and happier life.
Sugary foods and beverages
Foods rich in sugar are a big NO for the elderly. Bread, biscuits, sweets, and store-bought salad dressings can increase inflammation. Besides that, they can also cause bad cholesterol and weight gain.
Replace deep-fried food like fries and battered vegetables with boiled, pan-fried, or baked options. Excessive oil isn’t heart-friendly. Plus, they also increase inflammation biomarkers in the elderly.
So what exactly should you use to reduce pain and the risk of chronic inflammation in seniors? Let’s find out…
Best Anti-Inflammatory Food for the Elderly
Whole grains are rich in fiber and definitely a healthier alternative to refined white flours. So, whether you’re making pies or tarts, consider replacing your white bleached flour with whole-grain goodness.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants. Great if you could skip your regular oil with olive oil. But if that is not possible, consider using a few tablespoons in salads or other foods daily to prevent inflammation.
Almost all nuts are a great source of fiber and healthy fat. Plus, some nuts like walnuts and almonds also contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Adding a handful of these nuts can significantly lower the inflammatory markers in the elderly and keep them energetic and fit all day long.
Beans are rich in fiber and proteins. They also contain antioxidants and magnesium, which can lower inflammation. Including a cup or more of pinto beans, red kidney beans, or garbanzo beans in a senior’s diet can reap amazing anti-inflammatory advantages.
Pro tip: you can use them in stews, soups, rice, and savory tarts.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, or cabbage, should be a part of a senior’s diet. These veggies are rich in antioxidants. Also, they’re versatile, meaning you can cook them in several different ways for the elderly.
Pro tip: You can use cruciferous veggies in coleslaws, soups, wraps, and more.
Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t mean giving up on your favorite desserts.
Did you know dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants? Both of which have powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. Because milk chocolates contain more sugar, the elderly should stick to options that contain at least 70% cocoa.
Green tea contains a polyphenol called EGCG and antioxidants. Replacing soda or any other sugar-based carbonated drink with a cup of green tea is a foolproof way to prevent inflammation and dehydration in the elderly.
Turmeric is a magical spice that not only enhances the flavor of your food but also fights inflammation. You can use turmeric in your food if your elderly is fond of Mediterranean or Asian cuisine. If not, you can stir a half-teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of lukewarm milk and give it to the elderly to drink at night.
Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals in the body.
An anti-inflammatory diet for seniors isn’t a magic cure. While all these foods are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, they’re not substitutes for prescribed medicines and treatments. If your loved one or patient has an underlying health condition, consult a doctor before using the ingredients listed above.