Our bodies change as we get older: hormones see-saw, the metabolism shifts, and muscle tone decreases. Luckily, certain nutrients can support our fluctuating needs, and healthy eating habits can have a tremendous impact.
After our 20s, we have a slower metabolism and require fewer calories. Help regulate blood pressure and conserve muscle and bone with magnesium-rich foods like chard, soy yogourt and wheat bran. Limit meat intake to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease instead, opt for plant-based proteins (such as nuts and lentils). For women, spinach, pumpkin seeds, beans and turkey can replenish iron lost through menstruation.
As your body sets the stage for later life, focus on fibre (in bran, beans, flax, oats, produce and whole grains) to support digestion, lower cholesterol and control sugar levels. Adequate fibre (35 to 38 grams a day for men; 25 for women) can prevent toxins from building up in the colon and reduce risk of colon cancer, Fetterly says.
In middle age, says Gilbert, 'We start to produce less stomach acid and lose some ability to absorb nutrients, so we need to eat more nutrient-dense foods.' Many adults experience a dip in vitamin B12, which maintains healthy nerves and blood cells. Boost levels with organ meats, shellfish, nutritional yeast and fortified milk. Blueberries, dark leafy greens and other antioxidant-rich foods can address chronic conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and high cholesterol.
'It's important to maintain cognitive function because we can form neural pathways up until our 80s,' Fetterly says. Unsaturated fats (found in olive oil, fish, flax, avocados, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed meat and dairy products) can boost mood and brain function, increase 'good' HDL cholesterol and cut down inflammation.
source >> Reader's Digest(MSN)