We all know that eating healthy and remaining active is important for everyone but what we sometimes forget is that our needs change over time as our bodies do. What our bodies require from food changes as we move through different stages of life. As we get older, eating healthy can improve mental acuteness, boost energy levels and increase your resistance to illness. What your body needed when it was 20 is vastly different to what it needs when you are 60 or 70.
So now your probably wondering, well how do I know what my body needs for my age? How do I remain healthy as my body ages? Well this is why we are here. Our team has looked into ways of eating well as you age and we are bringing this information straight to you lovely people to help you live long, healthy and fulfilling lives.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Your 20s
Young adulthood can be such a wonderful time of life and is the time of life when most people are at, or near their physical peak. However it is still important to remain healthy during this period, physically, mentally and emotionally. It is important to ensure you are getting vital nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, healthy omega-3 fats and folic acid. You need to pay attention to portion sizes and get into the habit of chewing your food slowly.
Although your body may feel physically sound you should still exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight by limiting fast foods and processed foods. The best diet for this stage of life is plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low or non-fat dairy products.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Your 30’s
In our 30’s we tend to take more responsibility, whether this be our career, mortgage or family. During this stage of your life you should become more food savvy and start Batch Cooking and Shopping to reduce temptation of processed fast foods. You need to ensure your body is getting adequate levels of B vitamins, Zinc and Vitamin C.
B vitamins within the body are reduced when we experience high levels of stress except it is these vitamins that allow our bodies to convert carbohydrates to glucose and help us feel energized. Foods with B vitamins include whole grains such as brown rice and barley, legumes such as beans and lentils, seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds and almonds and fruits such as citrus fruits, avocados and bananas.
Zinc is vital for the immune system and reproductive health therefore low zinc can negatively impact fertility, hormones and lower your immune system. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, seafood, pumpkin seeds and red meat.
Vitamin C rich foods support stressed out adrenal glands and assist in keeping your immune system strong. Start implementing cherries, berries, and pineapple, cauliflower, capsicum, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and citrus fruits here.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Your 40’s
What foods you put into your body is even more important once you’ve entered your 40’s.. During our 40’s our hormone levels begin to change and you may find putting on weight comes a lot more easily. Therefore include plenty of fresh minimally processed foods, 8 servings of vegetables and a couple of pieces of fruit every day, minimal refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white bread and cakes. Protein, fibre and magnesium are also very important here.
Protein levels need to be adequate to support and maintain energy, support collagen and growth and repaid of cells. Include foods such as lean meats, legumes, eggs, fish, and gelatin and bone broths.
Fibre is vital for a healthy functioning gut therefore include foods such as berries, pears, melon, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, barley and rye.
Magnesium supports cellular health, energy, hormones and well functioning nervous system therefore include green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, fruit such as avocado, bananas and raspberries, legumes such as black beans and chick peas and seafood such as salmon and tuna.
A Healthy Lifestyle In Your 50’s
Unfortunately our hormone levels begin to decline once we hit this stage in our lives due to post menopause. Declining hormones can impact our brain, bones and cardiovascular health. It is vital that during this stage you make a conscious effort to eat plenty of good fats, mineral-rich foods, protein, fresh fruit and vegetables. During this stage you should definitely stay away from sugar and any processed meats. Calcium is also very beneficial here.
Calcium is very great for achieving a healthy nervous system therefore start-introducing foods such as almonds, tahini and green leafy vegetables.
Good fats as mentioned above is also very important during this stage of your life but make sure you don’t mix up good fats with bad fats. We are not saying go munch on fast food (damn!) instead, incorporate foods such as salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds and avocadoes into your diet.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Your 60’s
As in every stage of life it is important to try and stay away from processed foods and stick to as much fresh produce as possible but in this stage of your life it is very important you do so. Processed food causes weight gain, increased LDL, cholesterol and inflammation, which may lead to arthritis and peptic ulcers. It is also important you make a conscious effort to consume foods with Vitamin D, Calcium and probiotics.
Vitamin D rich foods include fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, cheese and egg yolks. Calcium rich foods include milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu and nuts. Foods with probiotics include yoghurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso and pickles.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Your 70’s
You have probably noticed a pattern by now that no matter what stage of life you’re in, it is best to maintain a healthy, well balanced diet and it is no different in your 70’s. During this stage of your life appetite may begin to decrease therefore it is important to eat a variety of foods to keep your diet interesting. Your diet should involve all the food groups, plenty of fruits and vegetables, good carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and dairy products.
Ensure you are getting enough fibre, protein, calcium and vitamin D from the foods you are consuming. As mentioned above foods high in fibre include vegetables, legumes and wholegrain cereals. Protein rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, soybeans and nuts. Calcium rich foods include low-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. Vitamin D rich foods include fatty fish, egg yolks and cheese.
So there you have it. Eating healthy through the various stages of life. All in all, regardless of our age it is vital that we are fueling our bodies with the right foods and nutrients so that it can perform at it’s peak.