When it comes to nutrition, there is no such thing as one size fits all. As your body develops, you’ll need to adjust the contents of your plate to help you feel your best. When you’re over 50, nutrition experts say eating plenty of foods with protein, calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients is one way to make sure the next 10 years are your best yet.
First and foremost, know that there’s no need to completely overhaul your diet when you’re 50, says registered dietitian. Jane Cross Hopper, which focuses on the nutritional needs of women in perimenopause and menopause. “Women can still benefit from building balanced dishes with a mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates,” she notes.
However, as you put your 40s behind you, there is some evidence that nutrient deficiencies can arise due to hormonal fluctuations and changes in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. So, below, Hopper and a nutritionist Ann Dunahi Founder Craving something healthyShare the six best foods to add to your grocery cart if you’re over 50. Plus, what nutrients make these proteins, vegetables, and fats like A good addition to your daily diet.
1. Greek Yogurt
“[Greek yogurt] Packed with protein for your muscles and calcium for your bones. I like to mix a tablespoon with my oats overnight to help boost my protein in the morning,” says Danahi.
Protein is one of the essential nutrients for women over 50 because it helps the body stay strong. “There is evidence of slightly increased protein needs for women over 50, Primarily to help build and maintain muscle‘, says Hopper. ‘As we age, we run the risk of what’s called Sarcopenia, a gradual, age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. This can increase our risk of weakness, falls and fractures in our later years, so doing what we can to avoid this is important.”
200-calorie serving of full-fat Greek yogurt Contains about 19 grams of proteinNearly 40% of the recommended daily intake of this nutrient.
This small, salty fish is one of Hopper’s recommendations for women over 50 because it contains vitamin D and calcium, along with heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Everyone knows that calcium is important for strong bones, but Recent Studies She points out that calcium after 50 doesn’t reduce fractures as much as we thought,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to focus on including calcium-rich foods as getting enough of this mineral because it’s important for our heart and muscles, And not getting enough can cause an irregular heartbeat and leg cramps.”
Vitamin D, meanwhile, Helps regulate the immune system And it allows your body to actually absorb that calcium. “As you get older, Your body is less efficient at making vitamin D from exposure to sunlightDanahi explains.
One can of sardines contains 22% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D and 27% of the calcium you need each day.
3. Leafy greens
When you head to the supermarket, be sure to fill your cart with kale, Swiss chard, spinach, or any greens you like. “Leafy greens can be high in iron and calcium, and remember that cooking greens will make minerals like calcium more bioavailable,” Huber says.
200 calories of this spinach stack 860 milligrams of calciumWhich is 66% of what you need per day.
If you are looking for a protein-rich snack that also contains vitamin D, boiled eggs are a great option. “Eggs are another excellent, easy-to-cook protein that provides vitamin D in the yolk,” says Danahi. “Make a batch of mashed eggs and replace Greek yogurt with mayonnaise. It’s a delicious, satisfying, protein-rich meal in the middle of the day or after a workout.”
If you decide to fry two eggs to enjoy leafy greens and sardines, you will give your body more 14 grams of protein And 10% of the vitamin D you need today.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds provide calcium and iron, the latter of which is very important for people who are still menstruating and “becomes less of a concern for menopausal and postmenopausal people,” says Huber. “as such Iron is necessary to help transport oxygen around the body, not getting enough can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and dizziness.”
Furthermore, chia seeds are an excellent vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. These essential fats cannot be synthesized [by the body]and must be provided through our diet,” Hooper says. An omega-3 deficiency can lead to ignitionPoor memory, dry skin and mood swings.
One serving of chia seeds meets about 12% of your daily iron needs and about three times the suggested daily amount of omega-3s.
6. I’m milk
“Soy milk is often fortified with vitamin D along with B12, providing a food source of this essential vitamin for those who don’t eat meat,” Huber says. “Vitamin B12 is a common nutritional deficiency in people over 50 because our bodies have a hard time absorbing it as we age.” For people going through menopause, vitamin B12 deficiency It can lead to symptoms such as anemia and brain fog.
Eating breakfast cereal with a glass of soy milk every morning will get you results 301 milligrams of calcium (about 23% of what you need per day) and all the B12 you need for the day.