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Meals for Memory Care Residents at Our Tucson Retirement Community

Discover the impact of nourishing food on the mind

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At Copper Canyon in sunny Tucson, Arizona, nutrition is a key tool in assuring our residents are well taken care of both mentally and physically. The foods we eat significantly impact our brain health as well as our overall well being, and it’s a key part of the daily lifestyle of our Tucson Memory Care residents.

We approach the diet of our residents through a method called the MIND diet, developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. This diet focuses on incorporating brain-healthy food groups while avoiding certain “unhealthy” food groups. Through their extensive research of this nutrition protocol, the researchers found that eating brain healthy foods may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent.

Keep reading for our suggested brain-healthy meals you can make for your loved one based on the MIND diet! Here are some some MIND Diet meal ideas that support your loved one’s memory and overall health:

Breakfast

It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! We get a lot of our energy for the day based on the meal you start your day with. When it comes to breakfast, we encourage you to start your loved one’s day off right by incorporating nutrient-dense food groups like berries and healthy protein like eggs! Try these healthy breakfast options:

  • Greek yogurt parfait with berries and nut-based granola
    • The berries in the parfait contain anthocyanin, a phytochemical that protects the brain from damage caused by free radicals, while the granola with assorted nuts will contain omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids as well as more vitamins which fuel the brain and boost mood!
  • Veggie Omelet with leafy greens and assorted vegetables
    • The egg in the omelet provides a healthy, complete protein source, while the vegetables and leafy greens deliver vitamin B9 and other phytochemicals that lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked with cognitive impairment.

Lunch

You can never go wrong with a bountiful salad for lunch! Salads have a bad reputation for being boring, but there’s so much you can do to dress up your salad to get the most out of it! Build your loved one’s salad with a base of spinach, a nutrient-dense leafy green, and build it up from there with mindful toppings like nuts, cranberries, eggs, beets, salmon, and chickpeas. As for your dressing, we suggest using one with an olive oil base. Olive oil is a MIND diet-approved oil that we use in our cooking at Copper Canyon! And as with any meal, healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. So don’t forget to get creative with your salad!

Dinner

End the day the right way with pizza! Yes, that’s right, pizza! One of our resident’s favorite menu items is when we make our pizza. While cheese is one of the items on the “unhealthy” food list according to the MIND diet, it’s okay to have one serving a week. So, to make up for indulging in the cheese, we suggest adding some brain-healthy toppings like spinach and chicken! To make it even healthier, start your pizza off with a whole-grain crust.

Fueling the body through food is a great way to support your loved one in feeling their best. Luckily, with all of the brain-healthy MIND-Diet-approved ingredients, the combinations of meals you can make with the MIND diet is endless. That’s exactly why our chef uses it to guide our menus each week at Copper Canyon!

To learn more about our memory care and transitional assisted living residency or to schedule a Copper Canyon tour, contact our friendly team today.

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