The Power Foods That Combat Stress During the Holidays – And How Home Care Can Help
As much joy as the holiday season brings, there’s also often an overwhelming level of stress, particularly for busy family caregivers who are already stretched thin. The additional responsibilities of shopping, baking, attending parties and events, and so much more can make it difficult to feel that all is calm and bright!
At Hired Hands Homecare, the top providers of elder care in Marin and the surrounding areas, it’s our goal to partner with families to provide the dependable, professional care services that help restore a healthy life balance – even (and especially!) during the hectic pace of the holidays. One of the many ways we can help is through planning and preparing nutritious meals for seniors, and when stress levels are elevated, including these types of foods has been shown to help.
- Whole grains. A great source of serotonin as well as magnesium and folic acid, whole grains, including pasta, bread, brown rice, and quinoa, can ease anxiety and reduce the risk of depression. Typically, the recommendation is to ensure at least half of the grains we consume are whole grains (although be sure to check with the doctor or nutritionist for his or her recommendation).
- Fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in some fish, such as tuna, salmon, shrimp, catfish, and cod, are linked to the prevention of stress hormones as well as protecting against both depression and heart disease.
- Citrus fruits and blueberries. Vitamin C is a known stress-reducer, but citrus fruits also contain glutathione, giving the body a boost of antioxidants and strengthening the immune system – crucial, since we know that excess stress can compromise our immunity.
- Oatmeal. A warm bowl of oatmeal is a wonderful comfort food, but can also help regulate mood and to feel more relaxed. Old-fashioned (steel-cut) oats are preferred over instant oats, and adding a protein, such as chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds, provides an extra measure of health benefits.
- Herbal tea. While your first instinct when stressed may to grab a cup of coffee, opt instead for a caffeine-free beverage, such as mint, chamomile, or passionflower tea for their calming qualities.
As with any dietary changes, it’s important to first receive physician approval. Once you have a nutrition plan in place, leave the rest to Hired Hands Homecare! Our caregivers are skilled in creating delicious, healthy meals and snacks in accordance with any dietary needs, and will be happy to incorporate healthy ingredients such as these to provide both the senior and your family with more reason to celebrate this holiday season!