What Are the Best Foods to Serve My Senior Parent After a Stroke?

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After a stroke, the brain must undergo neurogenesis to generate new neurons. The process also involves neuroplasticity, which includes creating new pathways between the neurons to enhance communication between the cells. Along with physical therapy, diet plays an important role in recovery. There are many healthy foods that should be included in the diet during stroke recovery.

Avocados

Avocados contain a fat known as oleic acid, which is necessary for gray matter to heal and recover. Seniors should try to include at least a quarter of an avocado in a salad or sandwich or as one of the ingredients in a smoothie.

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Berries

Berries are a wonderful food for stimulating cognitive function and neuron repair. The brightly colored fruits contain a wealth of flavonoids, which contain vitamin C and are known to play a role in communication between the cells. The powerful antioxidants supplied by berries prevent free radical cell damage. These versatile fruits can be eaten as a cereal topping, enjoyed as a snack, or added to milkshakes and smoothies.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are rich in the mineral selenium, which aids in healing blood vessels. Selenium also prevents plaque formation, which staves off recurring vascular issues. The compounds in Brazil nuts are also important for boosting the immune system. The nuts can be consumed raw or roasted. Try chopping them up and adding them to salads or smoothies. A serving of approximately three Brazil nuts each day supplies the recommended amount of selenium.

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Fish

Anchovies, salmon, and tuna are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital to encouraging neuroplasticity. As neuron communication increases, stroke survivors can learn and retain memory better. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, egg yolks, and olive oil.

Lean Protein

Poultry is considered healthier than pork or beef. Along with oily fish, poultry supplies the body with omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which nerve cells and neurons need for proper function. The meat has less saturated fat, which helps seniors reduce LDL cholesterol levels while boosting HDL levels. Poultry can easily be used as the main ingredient in a variety of dishes.

Legumes

Compounds in beans, chickpeas, and other legumes are responsible for transferring glucose to the brain, which neurons need for fuel. The chemicals in beans are also helpful for stabilizing blood sugar. Serve them as a dip with chips, or add them to a soup or stew. Consider roasting a tray of chickpeas in the oven for a delicious healthy snack.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a compound known as lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects neurons and nerve cells from free radical damage. These fruits are also a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are necessary for the healing process. They’re commonly enjoyed in salads, vegetable beverages, sauces, soups, and stews.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392.

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