As seniors age, they may be at an increased risk for eye problems. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly relative, helping him or her incorporate certain food items in his or her diet may reduce his or her risk of diminished vision. Read on for five foods that the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance in Lancaster suggest can promote senior eye health.
1. Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach, are rich in antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients work together to protect your senior loved one’s eyes from the harmful effects of sunlight, cigarette smoke, and other air pollutants. For an easy fix of leafy greens, encourage your elderly relative to use kale in a salad or spinach on his or her sandwich instead of lettuce.
Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight inflammation and promote cell health. Cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, and herring are particularly good sources of Omega-3, which is why adding a couple of servings of grilled fish a week can be good for the eyes, as well as the heart.
3. Orange and Yellow Vegetables
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and other dark orange or yellow vegetables contain high amounts of beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which can help prevent night blindness. Suggest that your elderly loved one’s hourly or 24-hour caregiver in Lancaster include a baked sweet potato with your loved one’s dinner, rather than regular mashed potatoes, to get an extra dose of beta-carotene.
You may not think of vitamin E as being necessary for healthy eyes, however when it combines with vitamin C, vitamin E is critical for maintaining good vision and promoting overall tissue health. Foods like nuts, seeds, and wheat germ, which are all rich in vitamin E are easy for your loved one to have each day. Whether your loved one eats a handful of almonds as a snack or sprinkles pumpkin seeds on top of cereal or yogurt, there are a variety of simple ways to add vitamin E into your loved one’s diet.
Besides being delicious, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Since vitamin C helps maintain cell and tissue health, it is a critical element in a healthy immune system. To ensure your loved one is eating enough vitamin C, encourage him or her to eat a breakfast of low-fat Greek yogurt with one-half cup fresh strawberries or to add chopped strawberries to a tossed salad.
For more strategies that can support your senior loved one’s vision and general health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our professional caregivers are expertly trained to help promote long and healthy senior lives through modern senior care approaches, like our proprietary Balanced Care Method. To learn more about how our senior care services, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia care in Lancaster, can benefit your elderly loved one, dial (717) 540-4663 and speak with an experienced Care Manager who can schedule a free in-home consultation.