One of the lesser-known health risks that many seniors deal with is inflammation. Inflammation is a natural part of your immune system, but, if left unchecked, it can lead to a number of chronic health conditions. Outside of prescription medicine, the best way to manage your inflammation is through your diet. For seniors who want to maintain their health and independence, consider the following dietary advice from the team at Phoenix Home Care in Overland Park, Kansas.
What Is Inflammation?
In short, inflammation is how your body fights off infection. White blood cells are sent to fight off foreign invaders and begin the healing process. As we age, inflammation can become chronic and lead to a number of serious health risks. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system starts to attack healthy tissues, leading to potential organ damage. Senior citizens who suffer from chronic inflammation are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and many more diseases.
Developing an Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Combat These Risk
When planning your meals, there are a couple of elements we want to consider. First, we want to avoid foods that worsen inflammation. Some of the worst offenders include:
- Sugary snacks and drinks like cookies, ice cream, and soda
- Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and some pastas
- Trans fats from fried foods and vegetable oils
- Processed meats like hot dogs and bologna
I know what you are thinking, “These read like a list of my favorite foods.” The majority of these foods likely aren’t a big surprise, most people know how unhealthy they are. There are many healthy alternatives that you can add into your diet that are still tasty. Some food choices that help to reduce inflammation include:
- Dark leafy greens like spinach or kale
- Fresh vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and squash
- Fatty fish like tuna and salmon
- Fresh fruit and berries like apples, strawberries, and cherries
- Healthy nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts
- Healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil
- Dark chocolate
The above foods contain high levels of essential inflammatory fighting ingredients. Antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, and fiber are all key components to reducing the inflammation you experience as you age.
Make meals that contain the above foods, choose water instead of sugary drinks, and maintain an active lifestyle, so you will better maintain your health as you get older. Of course, you will want to consult with your doctor before making dietary changes. With a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, you can live a longer, more independent life.
Maintain Your Independence as You Age
At Phoenix Home Care in Overland Park, KS, we understand how important it is to stay independent as you age. With a healthy diet and the assistance of our caregivers, you can spend your final years in the comfort of your own home. Learn more about the assistance we can offer you or your loved ones at Phoenix Home Care in Overland Park, KS, by contacting our office at 913-562-9026.