Eating healthy is always important, but the nutrients you need most can vary from decade to decade. Here's your guide to what to eat and when in your 20s to 60s and up.
In your 20s
The food: yogurt
Why: For bone-building calcium. We stop building bone mass around the age of 30, which may or may not give your 20-year-old partner a time to gain bone strength. At this age, you need 1,000 mg of calcium per day to meet your recommended intake - 8 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt has 42 percent of that. (Just look at sugar in any low-fat or fat-free variety, as it is often added for taste.)
Where else can you get calcium? You know it's present in other dairy products, like milk and cheese, but there are plenty of non-dairy options too, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, manager of wellness and wellness services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness. Institute. Tofu, salmon, and green leafy vegetables like kale are good sources.
The food: Eggs
Why: Its yolks have vitamin D, which helps your gut absorb all the calcium you eat. "You really need both to build your bones," says Kathryn Sweeney, RD, a dietitian in the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Where else can you get vitamin D? Swordfish has a lot of vitamin D, but it is also among the fish with the most mercury, so eat it in moderation. Sardines and canned tuna are foods rich in vitamin D that you can eat as often as you like.
In your 30s
The food: sunflower seeds
Why: Arthritis doesn't usually appear until later in life, but the joint damage that can cause it begins in your 30s, Kirkpatrick says. Seeds like sunflower seeds are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can minimize that damage by helping to lubricate your joints and reduce inflammation.
Where else can you get healthy fats: Omega-3 rich foods include walnuts, other seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds, and of course fish like mackerel and anchovies.
The food: asparagus
Why: It's high in folate, "which is an important nutrient whether you're pregnant now or just thinking about having children," says Jennifer McDaniel, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 — folic acid is the synthetic version that is often added to fortify foods or used in supplements. There is no evidence that one form is better than the other.) Just four spears of cooked asparagus have 22 percent of your daily folate needs (Normally you need 400 mcg per day, but 600 if you're pregnant and 500 if you're breastfeeding).
Where else can you get folate: It is found in beans, dark green leafy vegetables, avocados, and nuts.
In your 40s
The food: lentils
Why: “Many of my patients slow down metabolism in their 30s, but it's more common after 40,” says Kirkpatrick. "That's when the weight starts to appear, especially the belly fat, and it becomes really difficult to take it off." With 15 grams of fiber in a 1-cup serving, lentils are among the foods with the most fiber and can help you manage your weight in an easy way. In a small 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, focusing solely on fiber intake (30 grams per day) was almost as effective for weight loss as a more complicated diet that required followers to eat more fruits, vegetables, fish, and protein lean. reduce the amount of salt, sugar, fat, and alcohol.
Where else can you get fiber? Fruits like berries, apples, and pears are excellent sources of fiber, as are whole-grain spaghetti, popcorn, beans, and vegetables like peas and broccoli.
The food: grilled chicken breast
Why: Your 40s is when you need to start worrying about your blood sugar, because your risk for diabetes is higher. Lean protein can help limit fluctuations and the insulin your body pumps out in response to spikes in blood sugar, Sweeney says. Sixty-three percent of diabetes diagnoses occur between the ages of 40 and 64, according to the most recent national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health recommend that you start testing. diabetes and prediabetes test. at age 45. (You should talk to your doctor about getting tested sooner if you are overweight or have other risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol.) Lean protein can also help counteract changes in body composition that occur in the years leading up to menopause, says Kirkpatrick, when lean muscles tend to sag while body fat increases.
Where else can you get lean protein: Look for lean ground beef, lean cuts of pork, and for your meatless options choose Greek yogurt or eggs.
The food: walnuts
Why: They are incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids. Recommended in your 30s for your joints, in your 40s these fats can be just as important to your mood. There is a link between inflammation and depression, and omega-3s have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Here's why that matters now: Women between the ages of 40 and 59 had the highest rates of depression, according to data collected by the CDC between 2009 and 2012. Where else can you get omega-3s? Fatty fish and seeds are among your best options, but lesser-known sources include spinach, tofu, and navy beans.
In your 50 years
The food: cottage cheese
Why: Your bone density remains fairly stable at 30 to 50, according to the NIH, but in the first few years after menopause, most women experience a sharp drop that puts them at higher risk for osteoporosis. That's why you need an additional 200 mg of calcium per day after age 50, which you can get from many sources, including cottage cheese. At this age, food sources may be a safer bet than calcium supplements: A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that women between the ages of 45 and 84 who took calcium supplements for their bones had more likely to have plaque build-up in your arteries, which increases the risk of heart attacks.
Where else can you get calcium? The usual dairy sources, or you can branch out with foods like navy beans, black-eyed peas, or seaweed.
The food: salmon
Why: After age 55, women's risk of heart disease increases, in part because estrogen helped protect your body against it, and now that you're past menopause, your estrogen levels are lower. "The fats from fish like salmon can help lower your risk," McDaniel says. Research in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a Mediterranean diet (which emphasizes healthy fats like omega-3s) reduces the risk of serious heart events among people at high risk of developing heart disease. Fiber is also important, McDaniel notes, because it can help keep cholesterol levels low.
Where else can you get healthy fats: olive oil, nuts, seeds, or any of the other omega-3 sources we've already mentioned.
In the 60s and beyond
The food: seafood
Why: They are high in vitamin B12. This vitamin is found in many animal products, so unless you are vegan, it is rare for you to be deficient when you are younger. "But B12 needs stomach acid to be absorbed, and we start to lose stomach acid between our 50s and 60s," explains Kirkpatrick. Also, there is a type of stomach inflammation that occurs in up to 50 percent of older people that can make it difficult to absorb B12, meaning you will have to eat more just to get your recommended intake. Finally, B12 is one of the three B vitamins that can help reduce the levels of an amino acid related to dementia. (The other two B vitamins are folate and B6).
Where else can you get B12: rainbow trout and sockeye salmon, along with milk, yogurt, and eggs.
By Emma Haak
Original article (in English)