Antioxidants are special molecules that inhibit certain reactions in the body and keep other molecules from oxidizing so there are fewer free radicals that damage other cells. Scientists are still researching antioxidants, but so far, they’ve found a higher antioxidant intake is associated with the following health benefits for seniors.
1. Protect the Heart
Heart disease is a major threat to seniors’ health. Eating antioxidant-rich foods has a huge range of heart-healthy benefits, including the reduced risk of strokes and heart attacks. Antioxidants in red wine and strawberries lower inflammation in the arteries, which keeps blood pressure steady and lowers the risk of broken blood vessels. Antioxidants also have anti-clotting properties that lead to better circulation.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care New Hampshire families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Lower Dementia Risks
The brain and the circulatory system are closely related, so the heart-healthy benefits of antioxidants can also protect the brain from dementia. The antioxidants found in vitamins C and E are especially helpful for reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. New Hampshire families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
3. Reduce Symptoms of Aging
A growing body of research suggests many of the general aches and pains associated with aging are caused by long-term oxidative damage in the body, but antioxidants can counteract these effects. For example, many of the anti-aging benefits of green tea are linked to the antioxidant properties of the polyphenols found in tea leaves. Antioxidants may cut back on inflammation and harm caused by free radicals.
4. Protect the Skin from the Sun
Skin thins with age, so aging adults are even more likely to experience skin damage if they spend too much time in the sun. Protective antioxidants prevent UV rays from interacting with the skin and harming it. The most useful antioxidants for sun protection are those found in citrus fruits.
5. Alleviate Arthritis Symptoms
A lot of the swelling and pain associated with arthritis is caused by inflammation around the joints. Since antioxidants lower inflammation levels, they can be very useful for seniors with arthritis.
6. Strengthen Eyesight
According to the National Eye Institute, a higher antioxidant intake can keep age-related macular degeneration from developing or worsening. Antioxidants help eyesight by keeping the delicate cells of the eyes nourished with vitamins and oxygen-rich blood.
7. Reduce Cancer Risks
Seniors tend to have higher cancer rates because damaged aging cells are more likely to mutate and become cancerous. Antioxidants fight off damage before it can cause cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
8. Keep the Immune System Strong
Maintaining a healthy immune system is important for seniors because they’re more likely to experience complications from infectious diseases and illnesses. Free radicals can compromise the immune system by harming white blood cells and other disease-fighting cells. Beta-carotene and other antioxidants can protect the immune system from free radicals.
Eating nutritious meals can go a long way toward boosting an older adult’s health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our Care Managers at (603) 471-3004 to learn about the various ways a professional caregiver can benefit your loved one.