Diet changes over time and your body will experience changes that require different foods throughout your life. It’s important to know how you should be eating as you reach each milestone. The types of foods that you should be eating over the age of 50 might surprise you. Maintaining the exact same diet you had at 18 can have negative effects on your health and should be avoided. Getting the right servings of vitamins and minerals will help you stay sharp and active as you age. Here are some of the best foods to be eating over the age of 50.
This is going to surprise a lot of people, but dairy is still very important to your diet over the age of 50. While most people think of it as something for growing children to eat, older people need to get it as well. In fact, women over the age of 50 have increased calcium needs and it’s recommended that they consume three servings of dairy every day. That can come in the form of milk, yogurt, or cheese and can be eaten as a snack throughout the day. It’s also rich in calcium, vitamin D zinc, and other things you need.
Most people are going to lose 2% to 3% of their lean muscle mass every single decade. That can lead to a decrease in strength and stability. If you want your muscles to stay strong, then you have to exercise as well as eat plenty of high quality protein. That means beef, fish, eggs, and poultry. It’s best to try and eat 30 grams at every meal, as well as adding some at snack time. It will work to rebuild your muscles and keep you active throughout your life after you hit 50.
Oats are a great way of lowering your cholesterol because they contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. The risk of heart disease is going to steadily rise as you age, so doing everything you can to fight against it is very important. Oats can also keep your blood-sugar steady while helping you to feel full during the day. That’s going to help you watch your weight on top of all the other benefits. When you get right down to it, oats should be a part of everyone’s diet. They can do a lot for you and they’re not difficult to prepare.
Sarah Schlichter MPH, RDN is the owner of Nutrition for Running and here’s what she has to say on sweet potatoes: “Knowing that most Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber, sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate with nearly 5 grams of fiber per potato. Fiber has been shown to help with digestion, improved gut health, and stabilizing blood sugar. Among other healthful benefits sweet potatoes are also high in Vitamins A and C, both which are helpful for immunity. They also have potassium, magnesium, and a slew of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, that may counteract the aging process.” You can’t get a better endorsement for a food than that!
Schlichter doesn’t just stop there. She goes on to talk about the benefits of blueberries and why you should be eating them! “Blueberries are a wonderful ‘brain food’ for aging. Their dark blue hues infer they are high in polyphenols, which have been proven to help with age-related memory decline. Cognitive function is a significant area of concern during aging, so capitalizing on mental health and ‘mental food’ can make a big difference. The anthocyanins and antioxidants in blueberries may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and may help with weight management.”
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and you want those in your body. That’s why you should be eating salmon as much as you can. You can actually use it as your daily protein as well. The healthy fats that you’re getting from the fish will improve your cardiovascular health as well as decrease inflammation and cholesterol. It will also help with your bone health and muscle mass as you age. There’s really no way around all the benefits you get from salmon, and it tastes great smoked!
Finally, oranges are very important to anyone over 50. They offer a great source of vitamin C as well as flavonoids. You should always have a stock of oranges around your house at all time. Eat them often and your body will get getting 70% of your daily vitamin C intake.