Top 10 Foods for the Over 40 Crowd

Kale

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OK, so 40 is the new 20. Try convincing your body of that. Most people find that 40 brings weight gain, wrinkles, and what the heck are those noises your knees have started making?

Well, while we have yet to find that elusive fountain of youth, we have found some of the best foods that if you aren’t already eating, you should start because these will help you to look and feel years younger.

Our bodies begin to burn less energy by the time we hit our 30’s and it drops an incredible 7 percent every 10 years after that. Which means that you need fewer and fewer calories to avoid getting that middle age spread.

Too many of us tend to ignore the march of time and think that we can just go on as we always have, no matter our age, but as we grow older, exercise and good nutrition becomes more important than ever. When we gain belly fat, we greatly increase our risk of heart disease, osteoarthritis, and diabetes. It also becomes harder to lose weight as we grow older, so it’s best to not gain it at all, rather than try to lose it later on.

If you are 40-something, or approaching the big 4-0, keep reading and find out the top 10 foods you need to be eating more of so you can stay as healthy as possible for many, many years to come.

 

1. Tomatoes

Fresh or cooked, you can’t beat tomatoes for offering you protection from prostate cancer and hardening of the arteries. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which have been linked to a lower rate of disease. Pass the spaghetti!

 

2. Kale

One of the best vitamin packed leafy green around! Kale is high in vitamin K, as well as zeaxthanin and lutein, which are known to support healthy eyesight.

 

3. Berries

All kinds of berries are loaded with antioxidants and you want to eat as many of these as you can! Antioxidants fight free radicals, which damage our cells and are the cause of premature aging, such as wrinkles. Antioxidants are Mother Nature’s natural disease fighters so be sure that you eat at least one serving of some type of berry, whether it be blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries, every single day and fight back against father time!

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Iron

At least 25 percent of women over 40 have low iron stores in their body. Your body needs iron to help support your immune system as well as keep your mind sharp. The best sources of iron come from liver and/or lean read meat. You don’t have to eat half a cow; just 100 grams twice per week should do the trick. If you are vegan, eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, such as Swiss chard, broccoli, green beans, and spinach to be sure you get enough iron. If you have any doubt, try taking an iron supplement two or three times per week.

 

5. Kefir

This diary product is similar to yogurt but is thinner in texture, so it’s in a more of a drinkable form. It has a great deal more probiotics than regular yogurt. You need to continue to support your immune system, and probiotics are essential to a healthy gut, where most of your immune system lies. Eat plenty of kefir and keep your digestive system happy and in good working order.

 

6.  Oranges

You need to eat plenty of fruits high in vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, to keep your immune system strong and your skin youthful looking. Keeping your body supplied with plenty of vitamin C will help you kick any cold or flu viruses to the curb much more quickly, which can help you avoid coming down with more serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

 

7. Chicken

You need plenty of protein in order to help with weight management and muscle building. Chicken is an easy way to get protein, with one skinless breast containing about 60 grams. If you are vegan, try quinoa, rice, or beans.

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Butternut Squash

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8. Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of olive oil, has been linked to a longer, healthier life in several studies. Olive oil contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound called oleocanthal, which helps to keep the heart strong and healthy. You still need to practice moderation as olive oil, like all other oils, contain a great deal of fat and calories. However, olive oil is a far, far better alternative to those highly processed GMO oils such as soy, cotton, or corn oil.

 

SEE ALSO: Eat More Olives to Ward Off Cancer

9. Almonds

Almonds are perhaps the best snack for the over 40 crowd. High in calcium, folates, and fiber, they are low on the glycemic index and will keep your feeling full and satisfied. All nuts are super healthy, but almonds are perhaps the best of the bunch.  Numerous studies show that eating just one ounce of almonds each day lowers cholesterol levels, as well as the risk of heart disease. All nuts are high in fat and calories, so you need to munch in moderation, but one to one and half ounces per day is all it takes to get all the benefits in one tasty handful.

 

10. Butternut Squash

Almost all squash are good for your healthy, but this one is brimming with beta-carotene, which is important for eye health.  The heart and immune system will benefit from the high level of vitamin C, and the fiber will help fight colon cancer as well as stabilize blood sugar levels.

References:

Lpi.oregonstate.edu

Hsph.harvard.edu