A healthy diet is a key to a healthy body and mind, and that’s a fact. However, the word “diet” negatively associates with eating less or bland food over the years. This is why we shall stick to a relatively reasonable term- nutrition. The food you eat throughout the day plays a massive role in determining the overall health of your body, as well as mental stability. This makes consumption of nutritionally sound and balanced meals a must.
Even if this factor of our lifestyle plays a crucial role across ages and genders, it still becomes a concerning issue among aging women. There are several reasons behind this, which we shall discuss further in this guide.
First Of All, Why Should Women Over 40 Pay Attention To Their Eating Habits?
You may wonder, what’s with gender and age? Isn’t nutrition something that everyone should equally value?
Well, the answer is yes. Everyone must focus on eating the right food; however, the emphasis is more significant in the case of women. One of the biggest reasons behind this is that as women age, they lose muscle twice as quickly as men. And we all know muscle loss leads to a higher fat percentage in the body, leading to unhealthy weight gain. With weight gain comes a set of other potential illnesses concerning heart health, bone strength, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and so on.
So, to keep all the above issues at bay, paying careful attention to nutrition is something that every woman over the age of 40 should do. Let’s learn which foods are most beneficial.
Leafy green vegetables are significantly low in calories, but they come full of essential nutrients, including fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Other than that, they are one of the best sources of omega 3s and can have an incredible impact on overall health. And since they are low on calories and fat, green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale can help you lose weight naturally.
Fatty fish, also known as oily fish, is probably the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. This particular nutrient plays a vital role in ensuring heart health, normal cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. The healthy fats found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, cod, herring, trout, etc., help regulate the hormones. This ultimately proves beneficial during menopause. Lastly, fish is the ultimate source of lean protein.
Extra virgin olive oil is, by far, the best anti-inflammatory ingredient that you can add to your food. And the best part is that incorporating these in your meals is super simple, majorly because of how versatile they are. You can use it for baking, deep-frying, or even as a salad dressing. Olive oil improves insulin resistance among aging women and keeps cholesterol levels and blood pressure in check.
The amount of nutrients found in these tiny chia seeds is extraordinary and can prove to be one of the best additions to your breakfast. They are full of unsaturated fats, protein, and carbohydrates, which make up for all the macronutrients that the body generally needs. They are also rich in micronutrients like fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Eggs are yet another excellent source of lean protein. We all know that with age comes a lot of injuries. And recovery from any damage, be it internal or external, requires protein.
It is no surprise that most people enjoy having a bowl of noodles, pasta, or even baked goods, for that matter. Many of them start second-guessing such food choices or cut it out entirely with the fear of gaining weight. However, the good news is that you can continue enjoying these foods by simply replacing processed flour with whole grains. This will keep you from all the harm that these dishes would otherwise cause.
Chocolate is yet another food item that people of all ages enjoy. But as women turn over 40, they tend to avoid chocolate because the sugar and other ingredients may affect their health. However, in this case, too, you can replace milk and white chocolate with dark chocolate. It is a trick treat that proposes several health benefits, as dark chocolate is full of antioxidants.
Ideally, all fruits offer a wide variety of nutrients, which promote excellent health. But when it comes to papaya, there are certain benefits, particularly for women over 40. As you may know, women in their 40s are expecting menopause, which causes many hormonal changes in the body. But the nutrients in papaya help ensure hormonal balance, and they also lower the intensity of cramps during menstruation.
As mentioned previously, protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and recovering from any injuries. And peanut butter is a tasty and rich source of high-quality protein. Besides, considering that it is a plant-based protein source, you can limit your animal-based protein consumption like red meat, which is heavy to digest. However, make sure you read the label to find out whether it contains added sugar or not.
Just like chia seeds, flax seeds also propose a long list of health benefits. Flax seeds are not just one of the superfoods, but they are also an anti-aging superfood. How fatty fish happens to be one of the best animal-based sources of omega-3, flax seeds are the best plant-based sources of omega fatty acids. Other than that, they also offer anti-aging effects on the skin and hair.
There is a reason why quinoa is the ultimate breakfast for many Americans, particularly those who understand the value of health and nutrition. Quinoa has got it all, from macros like fat, protein, and carbs to micros like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber! In addition to that, it also has anti-cancer properties and can keep you protected from cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, etc.
When we talk about essential nutrients, fiber is probably the underdog. Fiber is the main element that supports the body’s digestive system, yet no one talks about it. Apples are a good, old, humble fruit, offering one of the most excellent nutrients: fiber. And apples are jam-packed with fiber. So while most people struggle with digesting food as they age, you won’t face any trouble as long you eat an apple a day.
We all love cheese, don’t we? But with age, people limit their consumption of cheese with the fear of gaining some pounds. However, you should know that cottage cheese is not only low in fat but it is also high in protein. Additionally, cottage cheese is full of calcium, and we cannot stress that women over 40 must consume sufficient calcium to keep their bones strong.
Bone injuries are prevalent after you turn 40, and the risks are higher for women, as they develop calcium deficiency sooner than men. This is why meeting the ideal calcium requirement of the day is essential. Now, you can always take supplements, but if you can, prioritize having greek yogurt for calcium support as it will also fill you up with other essential nutrients.
All in all, it is fair to say that there are quite a few things to keep in mind as you age. However, by keeping your nutrition on point, you can avoid many issues and develop a robust immune system to fight illnesses up to a great extent. With that, make sure you seek medical advice from a health expert before making any significant changes in your diet.