Because peanuts have a high fat content, many people consider them an unhealthy snack. However, most of the fats in peanuts are healthy fats, making them nutritious when eaten in moderation, and they provide many significant benefits for people over 65. Westfield respite home care experts discuss a few of the benefits of including peanuts in elderly diets.
Boost Cardiovascular Health
Peanuts are high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, both of which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicated people who ate peanuts at least 4 times per week had a 37 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease when compared to those who ate no peanuts.
Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer
Peanuts also contain nutrients such as folic acid and resveratrol, which have been shown to have anticancer effects. In a 10-year long study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology involving about 12,000 men and 12,000 women, researchers discovered eating peanuts at least twice each week was associated with a marked reduction of colon cancer. The risk was lowered by 58 percent for men and 27 percent for women.
Protect Against Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Peanuts are a niacin-rich food. Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry studied the effects of niacin on 3,000 people aged 65 or older for 6 years. The researchers found the seniors who were consuming 22 mg of niacin per day from food were 70 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and their rate of age-related cognitive decline was also significantly lower than those who consumed less than 13 mg of niacin. A half of a cup of peanuts provides at least 22 mg of niacin.
If your senior loved one needs help maintaining healthy eating habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can go grocery shopping to pick up nutritious foods for your loved one, prepare healthy meals and snacks, and help with many important everyday tasks. For more information on home care Westfield seniors can count on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary consultation.