The elder care Warren seniors deserve should include encouragement to eat healthier because the wrong dietary choices can lead to a host of health conditions. May is National Blood Pressure month, and the staff at Home Care Assistance wants to highlight a few ways your senior loved one can maintain healthy blood pressure levels by making some changes to his or her eating habits.
Consume Less Salt
This involves more than just reducing the amount of table salt your loved one uses. Many food items are packed with sodium, including cottage cheese, canned vegetables, breakfast cereals, deli meats, and canned soups. Too much sodium leads to too much water in the body. The result is added stress on your loved one’s blood vessels, also known as high blood pressure. To help reduce your loved one’s sodium intake, read food labels and use salt-free seasonings in his or her meals. You may be surprised at how quickly and easily your loved one’s sodium intake is reduced. If your loved one is over 51, his or her daily sodium quota should not exceed 1,500 milligrams.
Drink Less Alcohol
If your loved one drinks frequently, he or she may be at high risk of hypertension. Years of excessive drinking or even drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short time can raise his or her blood pressure dangerously high. If your loved one chooses to consume alcohol, he or she should limit it to 2 drinks per day.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Among their other benefits, many fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which has been proven to reduce blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt. If possible, your loved one should eat fresh fruits and vegetables rather than canned or frozen.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Consuming dark chocolate (not white or milk chocolate) with at least 70 percent cocoa content has shown to reduce blood pressure. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating just 30 calories of dark chocolate per day is enough to lower blood pressure without weight gain or other negative results.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce blood pressure. However, when preparing fish for your loved one, try not to add unhealthy fats through pan or deep-frying. Baking is a healthier option.
To learn more about senior nutrition and how it can directly affect the risk of high blood pressure and other conditions, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care in Warren, and our caregivers are available 24/7 to prepare nutritious meals, assist with exercise, and help with a wide array of other daily tasks. For more information and to request a complimentary consultation, call 908.450.9400 today.