As we get older, our bodies go through some major physiological changes, says nutritional expert Tara Collingwood, co-author of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies.
“Men and women alike are susceptible to bone loss, muscle loss, hormonal changes, and the dreaded middle age spread,” the Orlando-based registered dietitian nutritionist tells Newsmax. “We see and feel these changes in our achy joints ― plus vision impairment, heart complications, weight gain, decreased memory retention, and lack of energy––all of which are tied directly to nutrition. “
Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging, adds that “a good diet can help get blood pressure under better control, decrease the risk of heart problems and contribute to the prevention of things like diabetes and cancer,” according to AARP.
These eight superfoods will help keep your over-50 body performing at its best:
- Wild salmon. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish two times a week, particularly fatty fish like salmon. Fatty fish are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and reduce levels of triglycerides in the the blood. In addition, salmon is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies use for growth, maintenance, and repair.
- Dark leafy vegetables. As we get older, our bones become softer, and we need more calcium, says Dr. Bernard. “That’s something you can get from low-fat dairy and dark leafy green vegetables,” she tells AARP. Some examples are kale, arugula, broccoli, and spinach.
- Black beans. Black beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that is difficult to come by. Soluble fiber is a nutrient key to blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular health. It works to slow the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract, meaning you do not experience blood sugar highs and low as easily. It also binds to cholesterol in the small intestine, preventing it from entering the bloodstream, thereby lowering your LDL cholesterol level and reducing your risk for coronary heart disease, Collingwood explains.
- Nuts and seeds. A handful of these make for a healthful, protein-rich snack that provide fiber and healthy fat. “Walnuts, flax meal and chia seeds all contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids which are converted to EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids,” says nutritionist Nancy Farrell Allen.
- Berries. Berries are perfect for the over-50 crowd because they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant flavonoids. Blackberries contain higher levels of fiber and antioxidants than most other berries. As for its antioxidants, berries contain concentrated levels of flavonoids that are natural brain boosters and help reduce the age-related decline in motor skills and cognitive activity, according to AARP.
- Cottage cheese. This inexpensive but powerful food is a great source of whey protein which stimulates muscle protein synthesis. It is also high in bone-boosting calcium and vitamin D.
- Potatoes. Potatoes have earned a bad rap, but they are actually a nutrient-rich superfood. Loaded with more potassium than a banana, a whole potato can help prevent high blood pressure and reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease. In addition to potassium, potatoes are packed with antioxidants.
- Ginger. Best known for its ability to eliminate gastrointestinal discomfort, ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps relieve achy joints and stiff muscles, says Collingwood.
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