While the holiday season certainly brings with it plenty of joy, it can also add stress, especially for busy family caregivers who already feel as if they’re stretched to the breaking point. The extra responsibilities of baking, shopping, attending family gatherings, and more can make it hard to experience a season that is calm and bright! That’s why adding stress-reducing recipes to you menu can be a great help.
At Senior HomeCare of Tucson we partner with families to provide the trusted, reliable in-home care services that restore a healthy life balance – even (and particularly!) throughout the chaotic pace of the holidays. One way we can help is by planning and preparing wholesome meals for older adults, and when stress levels are elevated, these types of stress-reducing foods have been shown to help.
- The omega-3 fatty acids in certain types of fish, including tuna, salmon, shrimp, catfish, and cod, are shown to prevent stress hormones while protecting against depression and heart disease.
- Whole grains. An excellent source of serotonin, magnesium, and folic acid, whole grains, such as bread, pasta, brown rice, and quinoa, can lessen anxiety and reduce the risk of depression. The recommendation is typically to ensure that at least half of the grains we consume are whole grains (but be sure to check with the physician or dietician for his or her guidelines for your senior loved one).
- Blueberries and citrus fruits. Vitamin C is a well-known stress-buster, and citrus fruits additionally contain glutathione, which gives the body a boost of antioxidants and strengthens the immune system – something that is vitally important, as we know that excessive levels of stress can compromise our immunity.
- Oats. A warm bowl of oatmeal is certainly comforting, but can also help with regulating mood, helping us feel more relaxed. Old-fashioned or steel-cut oats are the better option over instant oats. Try adding a protein, like chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds, for an extra dose of health benefits, and get creative trying out other stress-reducing recipes that feature oats.
- Herbal tea. Although your first thought when stressed may be to pour yourself a strong cup of coffee, opt instead for a caffeine-free drink, such as mint, chamomile, or passionflower tea, which have calming qualities.
As with any nutritional changes, check with the doctor first for approval. After your nutrition plan is in place for a senior loved one, leave the rest to Senior HomeCare of Tucson! Our caregivers are highly skilled in creating delicious, nutritious meals and snacks that are in adherence with any prescribed dietary plan, and can incorporate healthy ingredients such as those above to give the senior and your family even more reason to celebrate this holiday season!
Contact us at 520-355-4787 to learn more about our award-winning home health services in Tucson, AZ and nearby communities. Visit our Service Area page to view our full service area and make this holiday season happier and healthier for the seniors you love!