Healthy and nutritious food is essential as it provides strength to the body, promotes physical and mental growth in an individual, allows regulates bodily functions, and so on. As for the elderly, a well-balanced diet can boost their immune system, lower their risk of developing certain age-related chronic health conditions. Thus, it is extremely crucial to pay attention to the dietary regime of older adults and add foods rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients in their daily diet.
Managing Stress in Elderly with Food
Experiencing stress is quite common these days. However, stress management for older adults is rather complex as the physical response to stress and anxiety, or coping mechanism in older adults isn’t as simple and easy as it is in younger people. Managing stress and anxiety becomes difficult as people age with declining musculoskeletal and neurological system. Along with proper medical assistance, stress and anxiety can be managed in the elderly at home.
Apart from physical health benefits, certain foods relieve stress, anxiety and depression, and many other conditions. If you are caring for your elderly parents’ stress, then here are 6 secret foods for instant stress relief and interesting ways to add them to their daily diet:
Matcha is best known for its anxiety-reducing properties. Owing to its high content of L-theanine which is again an anti-stress ingredient, consumption of matcha can help increase the release of dopamine, along with promoting the release of serotonin that lowers stress and anxiety. Matcha tops the list of effective stress relief foods and is the best alternative to regular beverages such as tea and coffee.
Ways To Have Matcha
Although there are numerous ways to have matcha, the best for older adults would be to have it as tea. Whisk a teaspoon of matcha powder with a little water. Make sure there are no lumps. Then add hot water to it. Your instant stress-relieving tea is ready for you to enjoy. Traditional matcha tea does not have milk in it but you can add some as per your taste. Owing to its simple recipe, matcha is considered one of the best foods to relieve stress and anxiety.
2. Dark Chocolate
The benefits of dark chocolate in stress and anxiety are not a secret anymore. It is scientifically proven that regular consumption of dark chocolates can instantly reduce the levels of stress. It is the polyphenols and flavonoids present in Cocoa which is used to make dark chocolates that can help reduce stress. Dark chocolate is one of the most popular foods that help relieve stress. Apart from relieving stress and anxiety, dark chocolates can also help regulate blood pressure along with lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly.
Ways to Have Dark Chocolates
The best part about dark chocolates is that you can have them in any form. You can have half a chocolate bar twice a week, or as directed by the physician. Or you can simply have it with a glass of warm milk if you have been advised to have milk in your diet. One of the best tension relief foods, dark chocolate is the easiest to add to the regular diet.
Rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B, avocados is another most popular one in the list of stress relief food. Multiple studies prove that deficiency of Vitamin B can cause persistent stress in individuals.
Ways to Have Avocado
One of the best stress relief fruits, avocado is the easiest to integrate into one’s diet. You can simply mash it, add a little rock salt, and have it like that. Best for elderly with dental problems can enjoy the smooth texture of avocado on a slice of bread or even a cracker. Avocado is one of the best foods for stress relief and is easily available in markets.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Munching on nuts and dry fruits for stress relief is probably the most common method. The most effective quick fix for stress, dry fruits and nuts are highly enriched in different types of B Vitamins. Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, walnuts, and seeds have B Vitamins and also, magnesium which helps in managing stress and anxiety. Nuts and seeds are amongst the most popular stress relief foods for the elderly and the best part, they have instant effects when under stress. However, it is important to consult the physician or obstetrician before adding nuts and seeds to the stress relief diet as some elderlies may have allergic reactions to certain nuts.
Ways to Have Nuts and Seeds
With absolutely no preparation time or efforts, Nuts are the simplest and tastiest food for anxiety and stress relief. Nuts and seeds may be difficult to chew. So, it would be wise to soak the nuts overnight in water. The nuts and seeds will soften and be ready for consumption.
Rich in Omega-3, many seafood items are the best stress relief foods and salmon is one of them. High on taste and nutritions, Salmon is one of the best food for stress relief. Eating fish just twice a week as part of your stress relief diet can help you control stress and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Ways to Have Salmon
Why Salmon is another best food to release stress? Just take the filet and roast it on the skillet. Sprinkle salt to taste and that’s it. You can also have salmon raw if you wish but for elderlies, it is advised to cook it a bit before consumption.
If you are a vegetarian, you can opt for beans, sprouts, and broccoli-based light salads in place of salmon.
Nothing can beat a warm glass of milk when listing stress relief foods. Sipping on this protein-rich beverage is the traditional method to fight stress. Known as Lactium, the protein found in milk has instant calming effects and can provide relief from stress almost instantly. Milk also has calcium that helps reduce cortisol, a hormone responsible for inducing anxiety.
Ways to Have Milk
Just warm and drink, another reason why it is one of the most popular stress relief foods. You can add a little sugar to it for taste if you want.
Stress is a common occurrence these days and maintaining a stress relief diet has become extremely important for everyone. However, elderlies often cannot take care of their dietary needs. In such scenarios, seeking elder home care services is wise as the professionals working with them are, especially, trained to take care of different needs of older adults including their diets.
Note: Some older adults may have dietary restrictions and the foods mentioned in the stress relief food list above must only be added to the diet of the elderly after proper recommendations and consultation of a dietician or physician.
At Emoha, we take pride in assisting our elderly with a wide range of senior care services and sharing relevant information through our blogs. The idea is to bring about a positive effect to each and every aspect of life in the later years. Elders matter, and for us, it is always #EldersFirst