Inflammation is normally considered as the body’s fighting mechanism for combatting infections and diseases. Usually, it is also a part of the healing process. However, as adults grow older and near the retirement phase, the prevalence of certain medical conditions causes the body to have abnormal inflammatory responses. Seniors are likely to develop age-related medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, auto-immune diseases, cancer, heart disease and lung problems like Asthma which can be expressed by the chronic inflammation.
With a host of health and lifestyle challenges to be encountered and in an endeavour to ensure longevity and healthy aging, elders and caretakers are constantly on the look-out for some super-foods. According to research, one such promising category of such foods that reduces inflammation and helps in chronic disease management is anti-inflammatory foods. Consuming these foods substantially improves the quality of life in older adults, more so, if they suffer from persisting ailments like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Anti-inflammatory diets pertain to the incorporation of certain foods that are known to reduce inflammation and simultaneously eliminating those that aggravate it. It is easy to implement and more practical than many other unsustainable diet plans as there is no compulsion for eliminating entire food groups like carbohydrates or fats. Rather, the diet chart for senior citizens prioritizes on the intake of fibrous foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables while restricting processed foods and sugar consumption.
Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
- Aids in reducing and minimizing pain symptoms and energizes the body though it may not cure chronic conditions completely
- Acts as a catalyst in decreasing body weight which is usually a co-morbid condition that patients with chronic diseases often struggle with
- Allows the seniors to overcome the negative side effects of medications like loss of memory and severe fatigue
- Helps in building the body’s protection mechanisms as they are endowed with anti-oxidants and polyphenols
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Some of the best foods for seniors for implementing an anti-inflammatory diet are-
- A rainbow combination of fruits and vegetables that furnish the essential nutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are crucial for health and combat inflammation. That includes blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, oranges, grapes, cherries, avocadoes, strawberries, leafy greens(spinach, kale, collards, lettuce), tomatoes, garlic, ginger, beetroots, bell peppers, chilli peppers and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli
- High fibrous foods that maintain healthy gastrointestinal bacteria and aid in healthy excretion Sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre must be included like whole grains, cereals and beans
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as varieties of fish including salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerels, nuts like almonds and walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, olive oil, chia seeds and spices like cloves, cinnamon and oregano.
- Lean protein foods like low-fat dairy and soy milk
- Green tea can replace coffee
- Other healthy foods like dark chocolates and turmeric
Foods to be Avoided
The following inflammation food diet list enumerates the foods that must be avoided-
- Processed food items which may also contain preservatives and other ingredients that are not present in their raw counterparts like fried items, hot dogs and sausage
- Hydrogenated edibles or foods that have saturated fats and transfat as margarine and lard
- Some forms of meat like red meat(burgers, steaks)
- Aerated drinks like sodas and sugar-sweetened drinks like artificial juices
- Items that have refined carbohydrates or high calorific value like white bread and pastries
Besides these, alcohol consumption must also be limited.
While it is important that eating variety of healthy foods is the key, eating different foods every week and choosing it from fresh sources is equally vital. Dining at Assisted Living facilities ensure this is done so that their senior residents get varieties of nutritious and tasty platters with minimal calories for healthier aging.