Healthy and nutritional eating is important for all ages. It keeps your mind, body and energy levels up. It is important to be even more careful as you reach midlife and beyond. Eating a healthy diet can help improve mental wellness, boost energy levels, and increase resistance to illness. Consumption of fresh meals made with wholesome ingredients, loaded with antioxidants is highly recommended.
Dietician Nmami Agarwal, founder and CEO of Nmami Life says, “Your dietary needs change as you age. The metabolism starts to dip after the age of 30, so one should be cautious and selective about the foods they eat. Fibre rich foods are a must as they help in maintaining the digestive system. So consuming lots of fruits and vegetables is a wise choice. Whole grains like oats, ragi, jowar, bajra are also high in fibre.”
Fibre rich foods also help in maintaining cholesterol levels, which is often a cause of concern among adults. Among other things, consumption of turmeric is highly recommended too. It is an excellent herb that has anti-inflammatory functions and also has a role to play in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. “Calcium rich foods can turn out to be a boon to degrading bone health, so incorporating foods like milk, ragi, spinach, soy or almonds is a must. Broccoli, grapes, oranges are excellent sources of lutein, a valuable ingredient for boosting eye health. Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acid is also crucial as it can boost cardiovascular and neurological health. Yogurt will not only help to cool down the system, but will also aid digestion and will add some valuable protein to the diet,” Agarwal adds.
Keeping a count of calories at every age is critical but it becomes all the more significant when you join the 40-50 club. Navneet Singh, VP, APAC, PureCircle, the world’s leading producer and innovator of Stevia Sweeteners says, “The age of 40 is a milestone in our health journey. As the metabolism slows down, it becomes increasingly difficult for our immune system to combat chronic diseases. Consuming too much of sugar along with having a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits can lead us to diabetes, obesity and various other non-communicable diseases.”
Many a times, things don’t affect you in your youth and start showing signs later. So it’s imperative to change the lifestyle, especially your eating habits. Instead of limiting yourself, it is easier to keep a check on how much you eat. “By the time you reach the age of 50, your body reacts to your lifestyle differently. Two things that have worked well for me personally are including a portion of salad before every meal with carrots, cucumber, onions and tomatoes. It has great fibre content and limits my mains intake. So no special meals, anything works well. Secondly, I also make it a point to eat my last meal by 6:30 pm and avoid eating anything until breakfast. Although, it takes some time getting used to but it is much better than following a diet. This has resulted in permanent weight loss as well as a healthier lifestyle,” says Mohit Saxena, founder of Raw Nature.
In order to prevent the effects of ageing, Rohit Shelatkar, a fitness and nutrition expert, and vice president of Vitabiotics, feels that those over the age of 50 should consume powerhouse ingredients like beans and leafy greens that help the body stay metabolically fit. According to him, some essential foods to include in regular diet are:
Eggs: They help maintain a healthy immune system and are a great source of Vitamin B12. They’re also a good source of protein to maintain heart and brain health.
Yogurt: It is extremely beneficial to preserve muscle and slow the decline of body mass after 50. It provides good bacteria to the body which nourishes the gut.
Fish: The healthy fats and omega-3 present in fatty fish are important to maintain overall health. Salmon, tuna and herring provide the vital nutrients for a healthy brain, heart and eye health.
Fibre: Foods rich in fibre help in slowing down the release of sugar in the bloodstream and are crucial for the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Oats and green leafy vegetables are good sources of fibre.