A few years ago, the English study Campaign to End Loneliness found a few startling things. The study looked at 25,000 men and women over the age of 40. What it discovered is that people who eat meals alone were suffering.
In fact, they found that eating alone affected the health. It broke down to being just about the same as having 15 cigarettes each day, drinking too much alcohol, or not getting daily exercise. Is your dad eating alone? It could be impacting his overall health.
Why is Eating Alone Detrimental?
People who eat alone are less likely to eat properly. That was one thing the study uncovered. People who eat alone tend to go for the same foods and don't vary their diet. They go for foods that are quick and easy.
It's clear that eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to overall health. People who eat by themselves don't tend to cook a meal. There's a higher chance of going for takeout meals or frozen dinners. This impacts how much produce one is eating each day.
What Should Seniors Be Eating?
Most nutritionists say the best meals contain a lean protein on one-quarter of a dinner plate. Another quarter of that plate should be a whole grain like barley pilaf, quinoa, or cracked wheat. For a quick kick of fiber, you could create a barley or quinoa pilaf with some lentils added. The other half of the plate should be covered in vegetables.
Your parent should eat a variety of vegetables. Cruciforms are ideal for health. This includes vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are also excellent options. Limit starches like potatoes and corn.
Fresh fruit is also important. Berries are especially helpful for brain health. Many studies find that blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are packed with antioxidants that help with brain health. Frozen berries make quick and easy breakfast smoothies.
Make Sure Your Parent Has Someone to Eat With
You might think of caregivers as workers who cook your dad's meals and clean your dad's house. That's just a small fraction of the services offered through home care. Caregivers provide companionship. They can eat meals with your dad throughout the week.
Look into the other benefits caregivers offer. You'll start with companionship services and improve your dad's life from there. He'll have safe rides to area businesses. He'll have someone to help him with housework. Most importantly, he never has to eat alone. Call a home care agency to get started.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Tequesta, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.