How Can Whole-Grain Salads Help Improve Cognitive Health in Elderly Adults?
One caveat, though: be cautious of the dressing you’re using. If you’re intending to rely mostly on store-bought salad dressings, try to avoid those that contain soya oil or soybean oil as much as possible. These types of oil actually do more harm to cognitive health than good as they’ve been proven to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes with regular consumption.
It’s no longer big news that greens keep our health well. Salad greens are nutritional powerhouses enough as they are, what more if we consider other variations such as whole-grain salads?
Did you know that the best memory care communities tend to include these foods in their daily menus because of their proven cognitive benefits? At least, the facts we presented here clearly show that they can fight conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is well worth your time to read about them, so you’ll know what you can do to make your senior loved ones’ lives better on a daily basis.
Taking a Closer Look at How Whole-Grain Salads Enhance Seniors’ Cognitive Health
You’re probably thinking, “why whole-grain salads? Aren’t the usual salad greens just as good?” Well, the short answer to this is that the former simply does more for cognitive health than the latter. The fact that whole grains, in particular, are potent brain foods only serves to drive that point further.
- Almost all whole grains served in your standard senior community are packed with fiber, which generally aids in keeping LDL cholesterol at bay. The less the body has to deal with these bad elements, the more it will be able to maintain optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Quinoa, a ubiquitous grain in most whole-grain salad recipes, is notably brimming with Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. This specific B vitamin has been established as the best supplement to maintain overall brain health and memory. The same can be said for brown rice and barley which are often served as salads in numerous assisted living communities worldwide.
- Another vitamin worth looking at is Vitamin E. A couple of recipes will ask for a few slices of healthy nuts like almonds. Vitamin E gives your brain its much-needed protection against aging, as it’s practically more of an antioxidant than a conventional vitamin.
- There’s also the fact that complex carbs don’t impart the same sugar rush as their simple carb counterparts. If you’re not already aware of it, spikes in blood glucose can impair cognitive function.
Now, do you see why most whole grains are considered as brain food? And keep in mind, these are just one ingredient that you normally eat once you finish drizzling your equally healthy dressing and tossing that sumptuous salad.
The Balance of Nutrition in Whole-Grain Salads Only Seals the Deal
Obviously, we can’t completely overlook the role of green, leafy vegetables that figure in these kinds of salads in maintaining optimal cognitive health, too. The same is true for any fruits that are served along with it, besides the dressings and herbs used.
- Many recipes that are used in senior living communities call for extra virgin olive oil. This particular oil is a major part of the Mediterranean diet for a good reason. In fact, it’s partially due to the unique brain-boosting effects of this oil that doctors and nutritionists all over the world endorse the Mediterranean diet.
- As for the fruits used like the squeeze of lemon, chopped tomatoes, and bell peppers, the abundant Vitamin C content of these foods are the main contributors to the fight to prevent cognitive decline. Studies about supplements that are best used for Alzheimer’s actually mostly point to Vitamin C and its potent effects.
- Parsley and chives are herbs that are commonly used in recipes. Parsley is mostly responsible for keeping one’s brain as young as possible. As for chives, the folate and choline content in the said herbs have been proven to benefit memory.
- More unconventional recipes call for the inclusion of berries. As far as these types of fruits are concerned, they have no equal with regards to their anthocyanin content. That powerful antioxidant not only contributes to lowering body inflammation but prevents nerve and brain-related diseases as well. Retirement communities serve their whole-grain salads with berries as deserts. Without a doubt, that counts as well!
- Don’t forget about the cheeses that your local senior living community also grates on top of these salads to give them that much-needed kick in flavor. Parmesan cheese, in particular, serves as a crowd favorite. Did you know that it’s packed with all kinds of brain-boosting B vitamins as well?
- Leafy greens used in whole-grain salads merit the spotlight, too. Kale alone is a vegetable that’s already a winner because it’s chock-full of essential vitamins, leading to plenty of checks across the board. The generous amounts of lutein found in it deliver anti-aging benefits that extend to cognitive ability as well.
What if we factor in the arugula, spinach, and lettuce that these types of salads come in as well? Indeed, this kind of dish is something that you simply can’t go wrong with once you start eating it regularly. We’re not even just talking about seniors when we say this!
Be Sure to Try Out Every Recipe You Can Get Your Hands On!
What only makes things better is the fact that you literally have numerous recipes to choose from when creating these brain-enhancing salads. As well as experimenting, we recommend that you also come up with a combination that’s both delicious and nutritious.
As you can see, if we closely examine every ingredient included in plenty of whole-grain salads, it’s not difficult to pinpoint exactly why it does a lot of good for seniors’ brain health. In fact, this also rings true even if you’re still not legitimately “old”. If you want to keep your cognitive in tip-top shape as you age, it goes without saying that you should be munching on these salads more regularly.