What to Eat in Your 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s
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Published by TOP4 Team
No matter what challenges you face in your day to day life, it’s important to keep track of your eating habits.
Your body at its 30s won’t have the same requirements when you hit 60. Learn to understand your physique’s changing needs and keep your focus on what you need to do to effortlessly improve your health and vitality so that every day is a breeze.
While you might be tempted to skip whole food groups if you’re following on-trend diets like the paleo diet or a sugar-free regimen, experts warn this may not be beneficial in the long term as a balanced diet is more sustaining. It’s vital your diet be high in B-group vitamins and iron, which are found in foods like vegemite and lean red meat.
It can be easy to fall into the habit of eating lots of processed convenient foods, soda, too much caffeine or takeaways. An over-emphasis on these meals isn’t very beneficial. A balanced diet is much healthier. Buy seasonal fresh fruit and veggies and try including fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids on your dinner plate several times a week.
Raw cacao powder & chickpeas
Raw cacao powder is high in flavonoids and magnesium and has one of the highest antioxidant values of any foods. It is pretty rich, so you won’t need too much of it. Chickpeas, meanwhile, are high in vitamin B6, something your body may need more of if you are on the contraceptive pill or high in a stressful job.
Your attitude to snacking
It’s easy to believe you can still eat a whole chocolate bar, a big box of popcorn filled with butter at the movies, or a bag of lollies, especially if you’re exercising regularly. However, your 30s really is the time to adopt some life-long healthy habits, and regular snacking ought to be on its way out.
This is when you realise you’re not invincible, ironically at a time when you probably have more demands placed on you than ever. A balanced diet that helps you combat fatigue can help you become physically strong. Make sure to eat plenty of leafy greens high in antioxidants and enough protein from a variety of sources.
This is when you can start to pile on the kilos as your metabolism slows down, so avoid snacking on sugary foods between meals especially cakes, chocolate, sweets and biscuits, and attack any tummy bulges with yoga, jogging, weights or pilates. It’s also extremely important to avoid skipping meals, which is often triggered by exhaustion.
Milk and alfalfa
Bone strength to avoid osteoporosis becomes important at this age, and drinking milk is an excellent way to top up your calcium levels, as is eating foods like almonds and low-fat yoghurt and cheese. Alfalfa is high in phytoestrogens, which helps balance hormone levels if you are near menopause.
Your attitude to alcohol
Alcohol consumption among this age group is one of the highest in Australia, often triggered by the demands to be the “perfect” partner, friend, and mother. While you may want to enjoy a glass or two with family and friends, keep an eye on how much you’re drinking, and more to the point, your reliance on it.
While younger women may be diagnosed with serious illnesses like type-2 diabetes, stroke, and cancer, this is the decade when you need to be extra vigilant. A diet high in nutrients and vitamins to handle your body’s changing hormones is crucial. Eating fish a few times a week can be beneficial to maintain memory and keep hunger levels at bay.
Keeping within a healthy weight range gets harder, but it’s not impossible. Be strict about weighing yourself weekly, and keep an eye on belly fat as it’s this area that can trigger health problems if your body mass index tips over the healthy weight range for your height. Exercise regularly to maintain flexibility and keep depression at bay.
Oats and beetroot
Porridge made with oats for breakfast is a great way to combat high cholesterol, which needs to be kept in check at this age. Beetroot is also good for bettering your stamina, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Post-menopause, women also need to be more aware of their heart health.
Your attitude to sleep
Many women in their 50s complain of sleep deprivation, especially if suffering hot flashes during menopause. Find ways to guarantee a good night’s sleep. Install a fan or air-con, drink a glass of warm milk before bed, and don’t check your smartphone, computer or tablet at night for texts or social media updates.
Maintain an interest in fresh food and don’t fall into the “pensioner” trap of buying tinned or frozen foods because they’re on special. Bowel health is important too, so make sure you are still eating foods high in fibre such as whole-grain bread, legumes, and fresh veggies like red cabbage, mushrooms, and broccoli.
It’s not unusual to lose your appetite as you get older, so you need to have the right nutrients on your plate if your portions are becoming smaller. Include foods high in calcium, protein and some carbs. For example, a grilled chicken breast (skin off) and a mixed salad with a side of cheese, crackers and fruit salad would be ideal.
Raw nuts and nutritional yeast
Unsalted raw nuts are high in the nutrients you need, and nutritional yeast flakes are high in vitamin B, providing the flavour you may be looking for without adding large quantities of salt, which can raise blood pressure. Enjoy a handful of these on a daily base.
Your attitude to hydration
Older people don’t always recognise that they may be dehydrated. It’s a good idea to maintain some healthy habits you had when younger, like preparing a jug of iced water with slices of lemon or lime and fresh mint to keep in the fridge and drink all day. You can also enjoy herbal teas if you prefer.
For more health and wellness tips, visit a nutritionist near you.