The Japanese people are known for their longevity. With the highest percentage of centenarians in its population, many believe the key to the Japanese living long lives is a healthy diet. Nashville, TN, elder care professionals discuss 5 healthy dietary habits seniors from other cultures can adopt from the Japanese.
1. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of depression, dementia, and many other cognitive disorders. Japanese diets contain a variety of fish that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, halibut, and albacore. Seniors who do not have three or more helpings of fresh fish per week may want to check with their doctors about taking a high-quality supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Plenty of Lean Protein
Protein is one of the building blocks of soft tissue, and the average Japanese diet is filled with many excellent sources of protein. In addition to lean fish, they also consume vegan sources of protein such as edamame, seaweed, and tofu. Seniors who are trying to cut back on meat should consider replacing it with tofu. Tofu is extremely versatile, and a full serving has just 75 calories.
3. Low in Carbohydrates
Within a few moments of eating carbohydrates, the body begins to produce and release extra insulin. Insulin is extremely important to a senior’s health, but having too much in the bloodstream can result in diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions. Even though many Japanese people have rice or noodles with almost every meal, it is generally a side dish and not the main course.
4. Consumption of Green Tea
While coffee is an excellent source of caffeine, it has very few nutritional benefits. However, green tea is packed with antioxidants that help boost cognitive function and protect the brain from free radicals. Some research also suggests green tea might help convert fat stores into usable energy. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, healthy adults should drink three to four cups of green tea per day to enjoy the benefits of this popular beverage.
Encourage your loved one to make these changes to the diet for better health. If your loved one needs help to eat and drink healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping with a wide array of household tasks, our caregivers can prepare healthy meals and snacks for your loved one. We offer professional live-in and respite home care. Nashville seniors can call (615) 326-9849 to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager about our elderly care services.