Vitamin B12 is important for people of all ages, but seniors over the age of 60 are often deficient in this nutrient. The vitamin breaks down glucose so the brain can use it for energy, and it is also vital for cognitive health. B12 helps create new red blood cells and rids the body of homocysteine, which can cause stroke and heart disease.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
To keep the brain and circulatory system working well during the golden years, it is important to eat plenty of foods that contain B12. Here are 5 foods you should consider adding to your loved one’s diet.
Fish is packed with vitamin B12, along with other essential nutrients seniors need to maintain their health, and clams contain more B12 than any other food. Three ounces of clams contain over 1,400 percent of the recommended daily intake of B12, and they are also high in potassium, which can help control blood pressure. Other seafood items loaded with vitamin B12 include oysters, mussels, crab, sardines, trout, tuna, haddock, salmon, herring, mackerel, crayfish, shrimp, and lobster.
If your loved one eats steak, roast beef, hamburgers, and tacos, he or she may already consume enough vitamin B12. Red meat, particularly beef, is high in B12. While too much red meat increases cholesterol levels, eating it in moderation adds protein to the diet. Your loved one should stick to lean cuts of beef and eat it with plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Also, encourage him or her to buy grass-fed beef, as it contains higher concentrations of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Grand Rapids seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Eggs are one of the healthiest food options, especially if you want to increase your loved one’s B12 intake. A single hardboiled egg contains up 10 percent of the daily recommended intake of B12. Eggs are also a great way to add protein and vitamin D to the diet, which is essential for helping older adults maintain healthy bones. The good thing about eggs is that there are many ways to eat them. Your loved one can enjoy fried, scrambled, or hardboiled eggs, as well as omelets.
4. Fortified Products
While B12 is found mostly in animal products, vegetarians need not worry too much. Some breakfast cereals and other products are fortified with B12. Your loved one can add some B12-fortified soy milk to cereal and enjoy a nutrient-rich meal. Some tofu and other soy products may also contain high amounts of the vitamin.
5. Dairy Products
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are also great for adding B12 to the diet. When choosing cheese, your loved one should opt for Swiss, mozzarella, Parmesan, Feta, or Tilsit. One cup of low-fat milk contains about 14 percent of the daily recommended intake of the vitamin, and eight ounces of yogurt typically contains 18 percent. As an added bonus, adding yogurt to the diet can also boost digestive health.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for cognitive health. Seniors with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline should consider adding B12-rich foods to their diets. For dementia care Grand Rapids, MI, families can count on, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking. To learn more about our dementia care plans, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 616-243-0835 today.