Your nutritional needs may not always be identical. According to a study published in the National Academic Press entitled “Nutrition Concerns for Aging Populations,” researchers have pointed out the specific needs of nutrient intake and the quality of your diet are essential for those who are getting older. As you age, you’ll get more inactive as well as your metabolism may slow and your energy levels will decline as well as the possibility of developing diseases. It’s why it’s essential to pay attention to the nutritional quality of your food as you age. But what exactly does this mean? What would you consider to be the top foods to eat each day if you’re older than 50?
We asked a handful of registered dietitians to give us some of the food items you need to make routine part of your daily routine. These food items can build your bones, strengthen the body’s immune system and even the muscles in your body, giving your body all the nutrients it requires. Here are the food items they suggest, and for additional healthy suggestions make sure you check through our selection of the 7 best foods to eat now.
“While many people think of dairy foods for young, growing bones, it’s just as important later in life to help maintain bone mineral density,” states Amy Goodson, MS of RD, CSSD, LD. “Women over age 50 actually have increased calcium needs for the remainder of life. The recommendation is to consume three servings of dairy a day. These foods are rich in calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, high-quality protein, and more! Making smoothies with milk, having yogurt parfaits for snacks, and adding cheese to a sandwich, wrap or salad are all ways to enjoy your three servings of dairy.”
“As you age, your risk for osteoporosis increases,” states Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full and Finally Slim. “Calcium-rich food like yogurt is a perfect food high in calcium as well as vitamin D which helps calcium absorption. Yogurt is also rich in probiotics which helps promote gut health.”
Protein of high-quality
“As we age, most individuals lose around 2 to 3% of lean muscle mass a decade,” says Goodson. “That could result in a decrease in strength and an increase in stability of the core. In order to maintain your muscles’ strength it is essential to be active and regularly consume quality protein such as lean meat, poultry as well as eggs, fish and dairy. The aim is to incorporate protein in the meals you eat and snack.”
“Protein timing is also key,” Goodson says “Research suggests eating approximately 30 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and sprinkling it in at snack time, can help optimally build and rebuild muscle.”
“As we age, our bodies change and many times begin to develop different needs,” says Ricci-Lee, MS, RDN at A Taste of Health, LLC and Expert at Testing.com . “One thing that gains importance as you get older is getting enough protein. If your diet is too low in protein and physical activity is not maintained, it can lead to sarcopenia, or muscle wasting as you age. Consuming lean animal proteins or plant-based proteins such as lean chicken, fish, turkey, as well as nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu are some examples of great protein choices.”
“Your risk of developing heart disease rises with age, so you should consider adding food items that are heart-healthy can lower cholesterol levels. They are delicious,” says Young. “Oats are a great source of protein.” Young says. Soluble fiber Beta-glucan is a type of glucan. Consuming at minimum the recommended amount of 30g of fiber per day is an excellent option. Oats are also beneficial for people over 50. They can help maintain blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller, and help you control the weight you gain.”
“Adding greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach are great foods to help keep your mind sharp and prevent cognitive decline as you age,” Says Young. “Greens contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin A that will help slow the process of aging your brain. Foods that are high in antioxidants can help you stay healthy. Green leafy vegetables Keeps your mind sharp and the vegetables are also rich in vitamin K, which can also provide protection .”
Leafy Sweet Potatos
” Sweet potatoes are a wonderful food to include at any age, but especially over 50,” Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN the owner of Nutrition for Running and Bucket List Tummy. “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 helpful for immunity, potassium, magnesium, and a slew of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, that may counteract the aging process.”
“Blueberries are a wonderful ‘brain food’ for aging,” says Schlichter. “Their deep blue hues suggest they’re high in polyphenols. These have been shown to aid in the fight against declining memory as we age. Cognitive function is a major aspect to be concerned about as we age which is why focusing on your physical health as well as “mental food” can make an enormous impact. The antioxidants and anthocyanins found in blueberries can also lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes. They also could aid in weight control.”
” Omega 3 fatty acids (the healthy unsaturated fats) have several benefits on health and aging in our diets,” claims Schlichter. ” Salmon is an excellent supply of healthy fats that have been associated with increased cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, a decrease in cholesterol, and also providing nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin D B12, iron and Vitamin A. Salmon is also a fantastic food source for protein and this becomes more vital as we get older. As we get older, we’re more vulnerable to the decline of muscle mass. Therefore, having enough protein intake, coupled with a proper exercise routine helps with bone health and maintaining muscles weight.”