Most older adults aren’t going to put up too much of a fight if you suggest they eat a little dark chocolate from time to time. However, dark chocolate isn’t just a tasty treat. It also offers a variety of health benefits for people over 65. Here’s a list of some of the major benefits of dark chocolate for aging adults.
1. Prevents Heart-Related Conditions
Dark chocolate lowers the risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. When dark chocolate is eaten in moderation, the risk of cardiovascular issues can be reduced by 33 percent over time. This is because of one of dark chocolate’s main ingredients: flavonoids. Along with magnesium, potassium, and copper, flavonoids lower blood pressure, facilitate blood flow, and increase flexibility in arteries and veins.
2. Boosts Cognitive Health
The area of the brain that governs cognition controls an individual’s ability to recover, understand, think, and learn about stored information. Eating dark chocolate regularly can help aging adults increase their brain function due to the theobromine and caffeine it contains. The same flavonoids that prevent heart conditions also boost memory, attention span, and reaction time. In addition, flavonoids increase blood circulation in the brain, which can reduce the risk of cognitive disorders in older adults. Consuming dark chocolate can also help aging adults continue to retrieve information from their brains while living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Waterloo seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
3. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
High cholesterol clogs arteries and veins. However, seniors can prevent cardiovascular disease and plaque by eating just a few pieces of dark chocolate every week. The compounds in dark chocolate protect against the oxidation of LDL, the bad type of cholesterol, while increasing the levels of good cholesterol, more commonly known as HDL, which keeps the heart and arteries healthy.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support and information when it comes to helping your loved one get proper nutrition. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.
4. Protects the Skin
Skin becomes thinner and drier in the senior years, which can increase the chances of skin cancer. However, the flavonoids found in dark chocolate protect the epithelial cells in skin from damage. Additionally, flavonoids increase blood flow and hydration in the skin, and they can also repair skin damage that has already been caused by sun exposure. Eating dark chocolate in moderation can boost the body’s skin protection cells.
5. Increases Happiness
Seniors should strive to live happy lives because stress can lead to serious health conditions. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which happens to be the same chemical the brain produces when a person falls in love. Phenylethylamine also triggers the release of endorphins, which can boost mood and decrease the risk of depression.
A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your parent lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Waterloo families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (519) 954-2111 today.