Eat right to age well. As we get older, most of us start to take a little more notice of the food we eat and the impact it has on how we look and feel. Whether you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s, your body’s nutrition requirements change with each passing decade. So here are some ideas to help you eat right to age well.

In your 40s

Ok, so I guess this is when most of us start to notice the effects of ageing, isn’t it? Our skin is not quite so supple, we notice lines and wrinkles a little more, our fitness levels may not be what they used to be and we start to notice the effects of some of the earlier choices we made in our diet and lifestyle start to catch up with us.

  • Supplement with vitamin C to help support collagen and skin health.
  • Adjust your calorie intake a little. With each passing decade from our 40s, we need less calories.
  • Start taking a supplement for your joints. Turmeric and a good quality fish oil will help keep your joints flexible and reduce inflammation.
  • Build some strength and stretching exercises into your normal routine.

In your 50s

Into our 50s and hormones become an issue, so for women it can be the first stages of peri-menopause and for men, testosterone levels are starting to decline. Digestion also becomes an issue, as stomach acid levels start to decrease, which in turn has an impact of absorption of nutrients like vitamin B12.

  • Eat mindfully. Sit at a table to eat all your meals and don’t rush your food.
  • Try a digestive enzyme with HCl and pepsin to help rebalance stomach acid levels and aid digestion.
  • Eat foods for hormone balance, like pulses, flaxseed, broccoli and chickpeas.
  • Stretch every day to help mobilise joints and prevent stiff and sore muscles.

In your 60s

As we enter our sixth decade, vitamin D can become an issue, as older skin is less able to convert sunshine into vitamin D. Keep a check on your sugar intake too, as too much of the white stuff increases risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

  • Keep up with your regular exercise, but get outside to max up your vitamin D levels. Cycling or walking are ideal and a great way to help you cope with demands of a busy lifestyle.
  • Make time for meals and enjoy what you eat. There is good research to show that if we enjoy the food we eat, we absorb more nutrition from it.
  • Follow the example of some of the healthiest older people and follow a Mediterranean  diet. Pack in plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables, oily fish, olive oil and a little red wine, and eat outside if and when the weather permits! A diet rich in colourful fruit and veg, packed with herbs and oily fish has been shown to help reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
  • Replace tea and coffee with green tea or herbal teas like peppermint and fennel to aid digestion and reduce caffeine highs.

In your 70s

Most folk I know in their 70s are making the most of being free from the responsibility of work and family commitments, to enjoy life to the full. Keeping fit and active as a septuagenarian will help keep your health in good nick for years to come.

  • Eat your main meal at lunchtime if you can, as it is easier to digest.
  • If you have noticed your appetite start to decline, then eat little and often and make sure that everything you eat is packed full of nutrition for maximum health benefits
  • Soluble fibre from oats, milled flaxseed, root vegetables and fruit is a great way to help keep your bowel healthy and moving along nicely.
  • Don’t forget to keep well hydrated with pure, fresh, clean water to help energy, digestion and kidney function.

Whatever your age, stay healthy and don’t forget, a little of what you fancy does you good!

See Vital Nutrition’s Facebook page for more info.