Cooking for yourself has been shown to improve your physical, cognitive and emotional well-being as you age. In fact, it just might be the secret ingredient to aging successfully. Here are five ways cooking can keep you young.
1. Increases physicality
Before any cooking starts, the health benefits already kick in! You need to shop for your ingredients, which is a great way to add exercise into the day. Additionally, food preparation has been associated with increased levels of physical activity and self-reported health status. If possible, shop for ingredients on a daily basis, which will not only increase your daily physical activity, but also ensure you are using the freshest produce.
2. Helps social and emotional health
Cooking classes can help sharpen kitchen skills, while also improving psychological well being and sense of self. This is especially true when connecting older adults to the aspect of their heritage. Try cooking and sharing some traditional dishes with your community.
3. Improves diet quality
Cooking classes can also improve the quality of your meals. Older adults enrolled in cooking classes include more vegetables and fiber in their diets, which are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Cooking for yourself also means you control what goes into your food, which can improve your quality of health throughout your life.
4. Maintains mental fitness
Cooking can also help improve your cognitive functioning, which generally decreases as you age. Paying attention to cooking times, following a recipe, and setting a table forces you to use your prospective memory. Try cooking a brand new recipe with multiple steps for an added challenge!
5. Adapts to your unique situation
If you are no longer living independently, there are various cooking modifications that may be beneficial for you. Updating your kitchen technology, such as oven sensors and safety systems that can shut off power when needed, may offset physical limitations and other possible hazards. Meal delivery programs, such as Blue Apron or HelloFresh, provide pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to your doorstep so you don’t need to leave the house. Caregivers can also help with the shopping and meal preparation, and cook alongside with you to make things easier.
Have you been spending time in the kitchen? Share your favorite recipes with us!
Alice Home Care is here to help provide compassionate care for your loved ones who struggle to remain independent in their homes. Give us a call at 510-924-8529 and let us provide you with helping hands and caring hearts.