As we reach the mid-life ages: 30-50 years old, the reasons why we should eat healthy becomes a lot, from achieving hormonal balance, acquiring mental acuteness, having resistance to illness and disease, having higher energy levels, having faster recuperation times, and having better management of chronic health problems. Add to that long list of healthy eating advantages, eating well can also give middle-aged people a more positive outlook in life, staying emotionally stable and balanced.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be about dieting and achieving a desirable body. At this time, it is not about sacrificing and giving up eating the food we love in order to maintain a specific weight and measure. Gone were the days when we ate, or didn’t, to have the body that suited to every one’s beauty standard. Now, we eat healthy for the sake of being healthy, in every possible sense.
First off, it is important to know what you need and how much of it to consider your diet ‘healthy and balanced’.
As we age, our stomachs produce lesser gastric acid, which makes it more difficult for our systems absorb vitamin B-12, which is essential to help keep blood and nerves vital. The recommended daily intake of this vitamin at this age range is around 2.4 mcg.
Eating foods high in dietary fiber can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve the health of your skin, help you lose weight, and boost your immune system and overall health. As we grow older, our digestion becomes less efficient, needing us to include more fiber in our diet.
Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Middle-aged men and women should consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day, but not more than 2,000 mg to prevent calcium stones formation.
Choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and more fiber. If you’re not sure, look for pasta, breads, and cereals that list “whole” in the ingredient list. People aged 30-50 need 6-7 ounces of grains each day, which is around 7 slices of whole grain bread.
The RDA of protein for adults, including people aged between 30 and 50 is that 0.8 g of protein/kg of body weight per day. The average weight of middle aged men is 180 pounds (81kgs), taking that as an example, you need 64-65 g of protein per day.
Dehydration is one of the main reasons older adults end up in the hospital, studies show. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink about 2.2 liters, or 9 cups, of water a day, and men drink 3 liters, or 13 cups. (Try to limit coffee, tea, and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which up dehydration risk.)
Overall, growing older means being more specific and picky of what you take in your body, not because you want to maintain a figure, but because you want to maintain a sharp mind, an energized body and a positive outlook in life. Follow this tips, as suggested by professionals and proven by studies, to have optimum strength regardless of age.
- Consume less processed and sugary food.
For women, this age is likely the time frame for menopause and that means the reduction in estrogen levels. Without enough estrogen, excess dietary sugar will be transformed into fat, in particular, belly fat. On the other hand, high sodium content found in the processed food will lead to water retention which only contributes to that puffy look.
- Pay attention to your serving size.
- Drink less alcohol, coffee, tea and soda (you know, additional sugar)
- Consume more veggies and fruits (for fiber, vitamins and minerals)
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Eat colorfully.
Try to include five colors on your plate, the more colorful your serving of meal is, the better.
On the other hand, the half chunk of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for middle aged people is regular exercise and physical fitness. Though it may be harder to squeeze in little workouts now that we are at our careers’ peaks, it is still important to have at least an hour of brisk walk, steady jog or series of strength training such as squats, push ups and crunches daily. Some of the exercises you can do at your work or immediately after you wake up. Whether you are a career dad or a stay at home mom, there will always be exercises that is suitable with your lifestyle. As Helen Hayes have said it, “Resting is Rusting.”
As a matter of fact, some exercises and routine claims to have effects helpful in slowing the ageing process. A study made by researchers from the University of of Texas Southwestern Medical School has showed potential breakthroughs when it comes to delaying the degeneration of the health of middle-aged men. The research focused on resistance, endurance and flexibility trainings, which is believed to have greater impacts on middle-aged people if done in through longer periods. The researchers concluded that age-related decline in aerobic power among middle-aged men occurring over 30 years was reversed by a 6-month endurance training program.
These work out not only our bodies, but also our minds to ensure sharper cognitive and processing skills, despite our aging brain and nerve cells. Challenge your mental skills often and include your brain health whenever you think of health in general. Do puzzles, solve mysteries and read books.
For women, maintaining an overall healthy body can also be beneficial to your physical appearance. Some exercises are also helpful for maintaining a youthful-looking skin. There are also exercises to prevent skin from sagging. Afraid of facial wrinkles and other visible signs of aging, there are little routines for your face and body to prevent those too!
Age is just a number. It does not define you and your capabilities, and definitely can’t dictate what you can and can’t do with your body and health. With the right nutrition and physical workout, no one can say that you’re on your mid-life already!