As we get older, our body’s nutritional needs and rules change or at least get more specific. Our bodies need more of this and a less of that. Back in the days, we can afford to be a little adventurous with our diets and just eat pretty much whatever we wanted. But, once we hit the middle years, the way our bodies cope with the things we supply and provide it begins to change.
Studies suggest that the kinds of food middle-aged people should eat is not completely different from the ideal diet regardless of age, but specific nutrients and vitamins should be fed to the body more than before.
When we reach the big 4-0, our bodies have a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular complications, Diabetes, and Cancer. This is why it is important to pay much more attention to your health and eating habits during this time, or even ten years before it. But at what age do we need to make changes?
“These recommendations should be addressed at different stages of life, and it’s probably safe to start thinking about them in your 30s,” says Helen Rasmussen, Ph.D., a registered dietitian at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston. “Why to wait until it’s too late?”
So here are the food and vitamins you need to feed your body more in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond:
Vitamins and other nutrients:
- Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is the one that is in charge to make blood cells and improve cognition.
- Calcium- Since the bone density is lessened as we grow older, our body needs more calcium as we age. The maximum calcium intake from food and supplements is 2,500 milligrams a day for adults.
- Vitamin D- This vitamin is needed for your body to absorb and activate the calcium stored in your body. Naturally, it is only gleaned from the sun, but Vitamin D fortified foods are already available everywhere.
- Lutein- To prevent the vision from getting blurry, which is normal for people getting older, stock up on lutein. It can also help in saving the eyes from developing age-related macular degeneration or cataracts. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli and fruits such as grapes and oranges are rich in lutein.
- Vitamin A and Beta-carotene- These vitamins and minerals are not only important for babies, it’s essential for middle aged people too to prevent cognitive decline.
- Fiber – fiber intake is key for normal bowel function and may lower the risk of gastrointestinal inflammation. Plus, it can lower cholesterol and blunt the rise in blood sugar that occurs after eating. Prunes, nuts, vegetables and grains are rich in fiber.
Blood pressure problems are normal for middle aged people. A majority of them suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. This is a big deal because it can lead to stroke and heart attack. To combat this problem, eat more bananas! Potassium helps in balancing the blood pressure.
Season and Spice it up
A decrease of the sense of taste is normal when we reach our 30s. But, it is not good to load up on salt! Instead, experiment with other spices, better yet, instead of making it salty, make it spicy with curry or hot pepper.
Your sensation of thirst will also decline over time; this is why a majority of middle aged people suffer from dehydration. In addition, certain medications—such as antihistamines and blood pressure drugs—can make you more prone to dehydration. It is one of the most common reasons why people aged from 30-50 end up in the hospital.
The general recommendation for water intake is different for women and men. Women should drink about 2.2 liters, or 9 cups, of water a day, and men drink 3 liters or 13 cups.