To heal, the body relies on inflammation.
Inflammation helps kick the system into gear, repairing and healing issues by releasing white blood cells. As you age, the inflammatory response may not be as effective.
Sometimes, the inflammation is too much and causes more harm than good. Chronic inflammation keeps triggering the body to fight an infection, which can trigger chronic health conditions like arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.
How can you tell if your mom has issues with chronic inflammation as she ages? A blood test that measures a specific protein in the liver can help. Once she knows there’s a problem, she can start working to make these changes to improve her health.
If your mom is overweight, she needs to take steps to lose weight. Working with a dietitian or physical therapist may be necessary to help her get and stay motivated. Working on her diet and exercise routines also helps.
Choose the Right Foods
Foods that are high in sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat need to go. Your mom’s diet must focus on low-sodium foods, lean proteins, whole grains, and high antioxidants.
She needs to stop having treats like cookies, cupcakes, and doughnuts. She needs to stop drinking sugary sodas and sweetened iced teas. Processed meats are also not good choices. It will take willpower, but she needs to learn to swap her favorite snacks for healthier options.
Your mom has a sweet tooth and loves chocolate brownies. Instead of the brownie, she’s used to, she could make them from mashed bananas, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chopped walnuts or pecans. There’s no added sugar, so eating them in moderation is okay.
She wants to keep foods that help fight inflammation. Frozen berries, leafy green vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables are great options. Keep your mom stocked with frozen cherries, frozen blueberries, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and kale. If she likes Brussels sprouts, those are a fantastic choice.
Keep her stocked with low-sodium canned beans, dried beans, tofu, and whole grains like farro, quinoa, barley, and cracked wheat. Make bread instead of buying it. Try this simple, fool-proof whole wheat bread recipe.
-4 cups whole wheat flour
-2 cups lukewarm water
-2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
-1 teaspoon salt
Mix those in a stand mixer or by hand. Let rise for two hours and punch it down. Shape the dough, sprinkle the loaf with old-fashioned oats, and place it into a loaf pan. Let the loaf rise for an hour and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Ideally, your mom wants to start her goal of getting 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. If she gets used to 30 minutes, increase her goal to an hour. As she starts to lose weight or finds her muscle strength and stamina increase, she’ll know that’s a good amount of exercise to aim for.
Support your mom as she ages at home by hiring senior care aides. She can use home care services to help her with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Talk to an agent to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care in Elizabeth, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299.
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside, and the surrounding areas.
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