As we get older, many of us turn to various ‘anti-ageing’ creams, supplements, and pills but there is not much, if any, evidence that any of these can truly make a difference in stopping the signs of ageing. In truth, the best way to feel better about getting older is to take care of your body throughout your life by staying active, taking care of your mental health, and eating healthily. However, while eating well sounds simple there is often contention about what exactly it means to be healthy and which foods are actually good for you. Therefore, it can be hard to know what you should be eating and what might help you feel better as you age.
The Unavoidable Consequences of Ageing
When it comes to getting older the one thing that we cannot control is natural bodily changes. These include such things as:
- Gradual muscle deterioration, and
- A decline in metabolic rate.
When your metabolic rate decreases it can put you at risk of chronic diseases and weight gain as you need fewer calories to maintain your body weight. This can hinder you in other areas of your life. Other problems can include softer teeth, which can inhibit your ability to eat certain foods, a change in taste and smell, chronic digestive issues, and a lessened ability to absorb nutrients.
Therefore, as you age you will need to look at your diet and make sure that you are getting the correct nutrients in order to support your body and avoid problems in the future.
So, what foods are helpful to eat as you age?
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish (e.g. salmon, tuna) and nuts (e.g. walnuts, chia seeds) can help with improving focus and may help with decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fruit and Vegetables
Try to mix up your usual vegetable choices and choose a variety of fresh foods. In particular dark, leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and kale are rich in antioxidants and vitamin K. This can help with bone strength and helps with reducing inflammation. Other foods that are rich in antioxidants include almonds, blueberries, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Lots of Protein
Due to the slow deterioration of muscles and other pressures of ageing, getting adequate protein in your diet is very important for maintaining and repairing muscle. As with fruit and vegetables, it can be great for both your physical and mental health to include a variety of protein sources. Choose from high-quality sources of protein such as chicken, lentils and other legumes, eggs, or low-fat dairy products.
Staying hydrated is very important and is a part of the diet that is often overlooked. Make sure that you keep your fluid intake high and ensure that a large percentage of your hydration comes from water or other non-diuretics such as non-caffeinated drinks.
In conclusion, the best foods to include in your diet as you age are those that will support you and keep your body as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Eating fresh and varied foods that provide you with antioxidants and vitamins, while staying hydrated is the best thing which you can do to maintain your body as you get older.
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