Find out the importance of nutrition with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Due to the many physical and emotional changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, there can be a significant impact on the way a person eats or views food. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses into later stages, the entire way the patient eats can be affected due to factors such as:
- difficulties swallowing food
- difficulties chewing food
- increased lack of appetite
- changes in taste preferences
As these changes occur, family and caretakers of the Alzheimer’s disease patient should seek out ways to ensure the patient gets the best possible diet.
Nutrition Therapy For Alzheimer’s
It is very necessary that a person enjoys their food, as well as having a healthy diet. A well balanced diet that provides all the recommended nutrients is what the body needs in order to remain healthy. By making a few adjustments when necessary, you can keep meal times enjoyable for an Alzheimer’s disease patient. If a person is having trouble swallowing solid foods, compensate the nutrients with a soft food, which is easier to swallow.
By considering the types of foods an Alzheimer’s disease patient likes and dislikes, as well as their ability to manage the food you plan to serve, you should be able to plan a healthy and nourishing diet. Stimulating their interest by the way you serve the food is a good way of keeping them interested in what’s going on, and encourages them to eat.
It is recommended that an Alzheimer’s disease patient eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to guarantee they will receive all the nutrients their body needs.
Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet
These nutrients should include:
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
Servings from these categories can include fruits and vegetables, fruit or vegetable juice, and dried fruits and vegetables.
As well as foods from the fruit and vegetable group, it is equally as important for Alzheimer’s disease patients to eat servings from the other groups, as well. Cheese and yogurt can provide the patient with much needed calcium and vitamin E. Custard, puddings, and milky drinks can also provide these nutrients to Alzheimer’s patients who are having trouble chewing food.
Protein and vitamin B intake can be ensured by eating plenty of fish, liver, and other meats. Oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, are very high in essential omega oils that assist in maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system. Eating oily fish, or taking fish oil supplements, is a good idea for Alzheimer’s patients. If the patient does not prefer meat, in conjunction with the fish oil supplements, these nutrients can be obtained through eating beans, peas, nuts, eggs, and soy products.