The food we eat plays a significant role in maintaining our body and aging healthily. Though longevity of life has increased with medical advancements, nearly two-thirds of the senior population suffers from multiple chronic conditions. Sadly, that number is estimated to double by 2035! Hence, health experts recommend the use of plant-based diets for seniors for its enormous potential to prevent or reverse the symptoms of chronic ailments.
Senior Citizen Diet Plan assumes a critical role particularly after elders approach the so-called golden years of their life. That is so because the most preferred sweets, fatty, oily-fried and heavy calorie items and animal-based or processed foods are the primary causes of many diseases. Hence seniors must choose more healthy options available in the vegetarian menu.
Another reason for transitioning towards natural foods is the increased consciousness of preventive healthcare through nutritional approaches. Rather than adopting a reactive approach after disease manifestation, it is recommended to circumvent the illness itself through diet patterns. This can be done using a lot of herbal ingredients easily available everywhere. Even elderly care facilities including dietary assistance at Senior Independent Living Homes and Dining at Assisted Living use it in preparation of nutritious, tasty and customized menu for the residents.
One such medicinal herb widely used is the Indian Tulasi plant (or Holy Basil). Being richly endowed with enormous medicinal properties, Tulasi also happens to be a highly-valued ingredient in Ayurvedic treatments.
Health Benefits of Tulasi
- Lowers stress and anxiety –Being a calming herb, Tulasi induces relaxation by its anti-stress activity. This is done by lowering the blood sugar and the cortisol hormone levels in the blood.
- Produces anti-inflammatory effect –The eugenol present in Tulasi gives anti-inflammatory effects. Hence it was also used traditionally in the treatment of heart diseases.
- Enhances the cognitive functioning of the brain-Memory related problems due to drug effects and aging particularly in seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia can be treated with Tulasi. It increases memory and attention span by boosting acetylcholine levels and is also beneficial in preventing convulsions.
- Protects the heart-By reducing the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, Tulasi protects the heart with its anti-oxidant properties.
- Reduces hypertension –The high content of potassium in Tulasi lowers the blood pressure by inhibiting ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) thereby preventing stroke and heart attacks.
- Helps in Diabetes Management-By reducing fasting and post-meal blood sugar, Tulasi helps diabetic patients in reducing the symptoms of sugar imbalance.
- Protects the liver-The synergistic effect of milk thistle and Tulasi is shown to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxins.
- Safeguards the stomach-Tulasi protects the mucus layer of the stomach by decreasing the secretion of the acidic pepsin which causes stomach ulcers.
- Functions as an anti-oxidant- The strong anti-oxidant properties of Tulasi aid in combating the cadmium produced free radicals for restoring kidney and liver functioning.
- Reduces pain-Tulasi can be used as a natural analgesic for effectively reducing pain in seniors.
- Boosts immunity-Extracts of Tulasi leaves are known to have a positive effect on building the immunity responses of the body.
- Has an anti-carcinogenic property –The anti-oxidant properties and the phytochemical content of Tulasi helps in preventing and treating cancer of the skin, lung, breast, stomach, liver and oral cavities.
- Masks harmful radiation effects-The flavonoids in Tulasi protects the human blood cells from radiation- induced damage.
- Promotes bone health-By increasing the calcium absorption, Tulasi accelerates the bone healing process.
- Fights infections-Due to anti-virus and anti-bacterial properties, Tulasi fights infections effectively.
- Lowers aging-Tulasi prevents cataracts and greying of hair due to aging.
So utilize the magical health properties of the highly- revered Tulasi plant for blissful aging!