Chocolate is one of the favorite flavors of all ages and types of people, which means that if you are a family caregiver for an elderly loved one, you may have a chocolate lover on your hands. While you want to give your parent little treats that make them feel happy and appreciated, you also want to make sure that what they are eating is healthy and will take care of their body. Fortunately, these two things are not always mutually exclusive. You can encourage your loved one to enjoy the occasional treat while also feeling good about their nutritional intake.
March 19 through 25 is American Chocolate Week. This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about chocolate and the possible health benefits that it can give your senior. This can encourage you to integrate more of this sweet treat into your parent’s routine without worrying that you are pushing their entire diet off track.
Some of the potential health benefits of eating more chocolate during American Chocolate Week and throughout the rest of the year include:
• Fiber. Fiber is a vital nutrient that many people do not get enough of on a daily basis. A one-ounce serving of high quality dark chocolate contains approximately 3 grams of dietary fiber, which can help with digestion, cholesterol, and feelings of satisfaction so your senior will feel less hungry and fewer cravings.
• Minerals. Certain minerals and nutrients can be challenging to get, especially if your elderly parent has very particular tastes. While not a replacement for a well-balanced, varied diet, you can feel good knowing that a serving of high quality dark chocolate daily can help your parent get enough of a variety of these nutrients, including manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium.
• Antioxidants. Antioxidants combat the free radicals in the body, helping to protect from cellular damage and can even reduce the risk that they will develop certain types of cancers and other health issues. Dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols.
• Improved cognitive functioning. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can also help to improve the health and functioning of the brain by boosting blood flow. This can boost cognitive functioning, improve verbal fluency, and reduce the risk of cognitive functioning decline.
Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them throughout the course of you caregiver journey with them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule that is tailored not just to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, but also their preferences, beliefs, and goals, and the care that you are able to give them. This means that they always have access to the care, assistance, support, and encouragement that they need while pursuing a lifestyle that is as independent, active, and fulfilling as possible throughout their later years. When it comes to helping them achieve and maintain better health through nutrition, this care provider can help your loved one understand any nutritional guidelines or recommendations that they have received, research recipes and ingredients that fit in with these guidelines as well as their personal preferences, and get into the kitchen with them to help with meal and snack preparation, which support their mental and emotional health.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Mesa, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.