Healthier Diet Increases Mental & Physical Abilities

March is National Nutrition Month

With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s a good time for everyone to evaluate their diets. It’s particularly important for men and women living in senior communities as healthy eating leads to increased mental sharpness and better physical condition.

Plant-based diets rich in fruits and vegetables are encouraged, especially for seniors. Individuals who eat fish, along with healthy fruits and vegetables, say they experience the benefit of not only a healthier brain, but a healthier heart and overall body.

Larger Brains Protect Against Dementia

Older men and women who are dedicated to healthier diets tend to have larger brains, which studies show may help protect against dementia. Healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, dairy, and fish have been associated with larger brain volumes.

According to research, those engaged with healthier eating had an average of two more milliliters in total brain volume when compared to those who did not. To compare, a brain volume that is 3.6 milliliters smaller is equivalent to about one year of aging.

A Checklist for Healthier Diets

To lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, seniors need more fiber and potassium. They should also eat healthier fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. In addition, more calcium and Vitamin D lead to better bone health, and more Vitamin B12 helps with blood cell and nerve health.

Some recommendations for a healthier diet include:

Eat Less:

  • High-fat dairy products and meats
  • White breads, refined pastas, white rice and sugary cereals
  • Packaged and processed foods (high in sugar, sodium, etc.)
  • Trans fats or saturated fats (packaged snack foods, fast food, fried food, etc.)
  • Processed meats (salami, sausage, bacon, etc.)
  • Processed cheese
  • Butter and lard

For Calcium & Vitamin D, Eat More:

  • Dark-green leafy vegetables
  • Fortified plant-based beverages
  • Fortified cereals and fruit juices
  • Milk
  • Non-sugary yogurt

For Vitamin B12, Eat More:

  • Lean meats and poultry (including cuts with “loin” or “round” in the name)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fortified cereals

For Fiber, Eat More:

  • Whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Peas
  • Beans

For Potassium, Eat More:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans

Our Gourmet Dining Experience

McKnight Place is proud to offer residents a wide variety of healthy dining options, which span all food groups to help with brain and overall body health. Our chef brings a demonstrated record of success and dedication to his day-to-day craft.

Each meal at McKnight Place includes the fresh and high-quality ingredients. Our dining staff collaborates with residents and their families to make sure special appetites/tastes and dietary requirements are accommodated on a regular basis.

Come See For Yourself

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, please call 314-993-3333 (Assisted Living & Memory Care) or 314-993-2221 (Skilled Nursing).

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