Importance of Breakfast for Alzheimer’s & Dementia!

We have all heard that eating breakfast is an important part of the day. For many of us, that has not stopped us from skipping breakfast regularly. But, that may change when you hear about all of the benefits a healthy breakfast can have on our health. At Kemper House Worthington, we ensure that our residents get a healthy breakfast every day. Eating a healthy breakfast can benefit our physical and cognitive health and give our residents their best chance for positive days.

First, let’s define what makes up a healthy breakfast. Research suggests that there are four main nutritional areas that are part of a good morning meal. These are complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grain breads and cereals. Good breakfast proteins would include eggs and avocado. Avocado also bring healthy fats into a complete breakfast. Another option for healthy fat would be adding greek yogurt to your meal. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of fiber as well as complex carbohydrates. Put them all together and your meal might look like an omelette with fresh veggies with a side of greek yogurt and granola or maybe a whole grain cereal with greek yogurt and sliced bananas or strawberries.

One of the many ways breakfast can affect our physical health is by jump starting our metabolism early in the day. This helps our bodies burn through more calories by starting earlier. Calories that are left unburned at the end of the day are stored as fat by the body. Burning more calories during the day with a morning metabolism can help keep weight gain at a healthy level. It is important for our residents to keep a strong metabolism. With better physical health comes less of a chance of injury and gives our residents more energy from the calories that they are burning.

Another physical benefit of eating breakfast is keeping blood sugar consistent. People who don’t eat breakfast can have spikes in their levels of blood sugar due to more insulin in their system without glucose to break it down. These spikes in blood sugar can cause mood swings. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can lead to fatigue and irritability while high blood sugar can cause bursts of energy that end in that 2 o’clock crash that many of us are familiar with. Keeping blood sugar constant can also stave off diabetes, or for those that already have diabetes, can help regulate blood sugar. For many seniors, diabetes can have disastrous effects on their body and can lead to higher mortality rates and lower functioning level. Eating breakfast can help take care of the body’s blood sugar levels and increase the overall functioning level for our residents.

There are many cognitive benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. The increased glucose levels that come from eating breakfast are associated with stronger short term memory. Breakfasts high in fiber have been associated with better concentration and increased focus throughout the day. Feeding energy to the brain in the form of complex carbohydrates at breakfast also helps the brain process information earlier and can set the tone for the rest of the day. All of these benefits can make each day better for each of our residents.

While preparing breakfast may be difficult for the average person today for a variety of reasons, at Kemper House Worthington, we make sure each of our residents is fed a healthy breakfast that conforms to their dietary needs. The cognitive benefits are especially important for each of our residents in their time with us. We want to give our residents the opportunity to remember and be present for every day. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can rob our residents of the moments that give their lives meaning, both past and present. By giving them the kind of breakfast that can help them both physically and mentally, we are giving them the best chance to make new memories and remember the moments that have made them who they are.

Eating a healthy breakfast has numerous benefits and is an important part of any diet. By making the body and the mind stronger, we give ourselves a better opportunity to make positive impacts and be productive. For our residents, this means providing a balanced, healthy breakfast as part of the best care we can provide.

Our residents at Kemper House enjoyed daily delicious and healthy treats. This blueberry coffee cake is made using applesauce in place of sugar. It can be made using gluten free flour and/or nut free. Please checkout the video below to learn how to make yourself. Enjoy!