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Why Should Seniors Eat Olives?

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on June 28, 2016

Olives have long been an important part of the Mediterranean diet, and they have recently been gaining popularity as a healthy food for aging adults in the United States. Adding more olives to your senior loved one’s diet can offer him or her a wide variety of health benefits, and Roseville senior care experts want to share a few with you.

Reduce Pain

Seniors who have arthritis often experience a great deal of pain and discomfort. Olives contain a compound called oleocanthal, which has major anti-inflammatory properties that mimic the benefits of aspirin. Seniors with chronic inflammatory diseases can add olives to their daily diet to help reduce their pain. 

Boost Memory

Many aging adults experience some type of memory loss. Olives contain polyphenols, natural chemicals known to reduce stress in the brain. According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, consuming a daily serving of olives may increase a person’s memory by up to 25 percent.

Lower Cholesterol

Olives are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are crucial for a senior’s health. Healthy fats like these should ideally make up about 30 percent of the calories in your loved one’s diet. Monounsaturated fats can help lower harmful LDL cholesterol and boost beneficial HDL cholesterol, and the American Heart Association claims consuming olives regularly may also help prevent strokes and heart disease. 

Promote Eye Health

At some point, most seniors will develop some level of vision impairment. One cup of olives contains about 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. When the body converts vitamin A into retinol, it becomes a crucial nutrient for healthy eyes. Vitamin A allows the eyes to distinguish better between light and dark, which can help increase your loved one’s night vision, and it is also considered to be effective against fighting cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other age-related eye diseases. 

Protect Against Cancer

Eating olives may also help protect your loved one from colon, skin, and breast cancer. Olives contain a substantial amount of phenolic antioxidants, the anti-cancer compounds terpenoid and squalene, and the peroxidation-resistant lipid oleic acid. A study published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website revealed these compounds are all strong cancer prevention agents.

Maintaining a healthy diet is an important factor in increasing your loved one’s chance of living a long and healthy life. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Balanced Care Method that focuses on nutrition and other lifestyle factors that promote longevity for seniors. We also provide specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln families trust. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our Care Managers at 916.226.3737 today.

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