HEALTH & FITNESS
15 Foods You Need to Be Eating If You’re Over 50
You’ve probably heard of anti-aging foods — foods that provide essential health benefits that are said to combat the negative physical and psychological affects of getting older. There are a number of foods that provide specific benefits that become even more important once you hit the age of 50. With all the physical and mental changes adults go through as they transition into old age, proper nutrition matters. Here are 15 foods you need to be eating more of — if you aren’t already.
Your risk of heart disease increases as you age, which is why Harvard Health claims nuts belong in everyone’s diet. Nuts are packed with fiber, protein, and fat, which all happen to be nutrients you need to stay healthy and even lose weight. Snacking on almonds, cashews, walnuts, and even nut butters can significantly improve your health.
Next: Are you eating enough of this “anti-aging” food?
Some research suggests berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries contain antioxidants that promote healthy aging. A diet filled with antioxidant-rich fruits can also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight due to their high fiber content. Starting your morning with fresh fruit will set you up for a much healthier day — and a healthier life.
Next: This breakfast food is much healthier than sugary cereal.
According to Healthline, you’ll also get a healthy dose of antioxidants when you eat whole grains like oats. That’s just one of many benefits to making oatmeal a regular breakfast staple. Starting with plain oatmeal allows you to mix in your own fresh and healthy ingredients — like nuts and berries — to increase the nutritional value of your meal.
Next: Eat this food to protect your bones.
As you get older, your bone density tends to decrease, putting you at risk for fractures and osteoporosis. A diet rich in dairy products — if you can tolerate them — will help you avoid weakening bones. Fitness Magazine says eating yogurt regularly can promote bone health. Just check to make sure the yogurt you’re buying provides significant amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
Next: This high-protein food will help you maintain a minimally-sized waistline.
After 50, it’s more important than ever to eat foods that promote healthy digestion, heart health, and weight maintenance. Rodale’s Organic Life suggests eating beans to promote heart health and help you maintain a healthy weight. Navy beans, garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), and black beans are among the healthiest types you can eat.
Next: Here’s another breakfast food you should be eating more of.
According to Medical News Today, eggs are a rich source of vitamin B-12, important for maintaining a healthy immune system — especially as you get older. These animal proteins also promote a healthy brain. Even though they’re good for your heart, you may need to limit your egg consumption if you already have high cholesterol to help keep your levels in check.
Next: Bananas aren’t the only source of potassium you have to rely on.
If you need a potassium boost to keep your electrolytes in balance, potatoes are one of the best sources out there. They’re an extremely nutritious food, whether you favor red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or starchy white potatoes. Organic Facts says potatoes can provide healthy amounts of vitamins A and C. They’re also full of potassium, an important nutrient to incorporate into your diet in your 50s and beyond.
Next: Eat plenty of these foods to keep your brain young.
8. Leafy green veggies
According to Science Daily, one study found that regularly consuming leafy green vegetables like kale might be able to help keep you cognitively “fit” in older age. Spinach and kale are the veggies most abundant in the nutrient that promotes this effect, but you’ll also find it in eggs and avocados. Having a garden salad for lunch might be a better choice than you originally thought.
Next: Are you eating enough fish? Your skin might need more.
9. Wild Alaskan salmon
What you eat can influence the way you look. If you want to avoid wrinkling, sagging skin beyond your 50s, you might want to adjust your diet — and add some fish to your plate. Organic Authority claims fish, like salmon and sardines, can keep you looking young. The antioxidants in wild salmon can promote healthy aging, and their anti-inflammatory properties might keep your skin free of unwanted wrinkles.
Next: Are soy products really good for your health?
There are many “anti-aging” foods that aren’t as effective as typically advertised. The Nutrition Source warns that many of the proclaimed health benefits of soy thus far aren’t scientifically sound. However, fermented soybean-based products like tempeh do have many health benefits. Fermentation makes certain minerals, like iron and calcium, more available for absorption, according to TIME Health.
Next: Add these seeds to your favorite foods for more health benefits.
According to WebMD, flax contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for promoting heart health throughout the lifespan. Flaxseed is also plant-based, and contains lignans, which have antioxidant properties. You can easily add brown or gold flaxseed to foods you already eat regularly, like smoothies, oatmeal, and even yogurt.
Next: No matter how you eat them, these fruits are essential for optimal health after 50.
Whether you bake with them or eat them raw, apples are some of the healthiest, most versatile fruits you can eat. Put them in your salad, bake them into your oatmeal, or dip them in nut butter for a healthy afternoon snack. According to Health.com, apples keep your hair and nails healthy. They contain large amounts of B vitamins and vitamin C, which are also good for maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin.
Next: It’s not milk, but its benefits are fairly similar.
13. Unsweetened almond milk
If your body and lactose don’t get along, dairy alternatives like soy or almond “milk” can provide similar benefits — without the discomfort. According to Livestrong.com, almond milk is often supplemented with vitamins like vitamin D to make it worth your while. Just make sure you’re buying unsweetened almond milk, which adds less sugar to whatever you’re pairing it with.
Next: Use this spice to reap its many health benefits.
Research shows cinnamon promotes a variety of valuable health benefits. The spice contains antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It might also improve insulin sensitivity, which can help combat type 2 diabetes. In general, using spices in place of flavor enhancers like sugar and salt can significantly improve your overall health over time.
Next: Don’t miss out on the many benefits of this fruit.
Livestrong.com says peaches can provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals essential for healthy aging. These include fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Whether you eat them fresh or canned, including peaches in your diet is a good way to promote healthy digestion and vision. Add peaches to your breakfast, lunch, or mid-morning snack to benefit your long-term