As a gadget-loving teenager, you may have tried all kinds of diets to suit your whims and likes. Fast food, inactivity, and alcohol may have been your first love. But as you go beyond middle-age, your atypical food choices may not match your body’s biological changes and dietary needs. When you are over 50, you need to watch your food intake and make diet changes to avoid putting your health at risk.
While it is good to pursue fitness as you age, women over 50 should also focus on nutritional goals to combat the ill effects of aging and menopause. Here are the three dietetic fundamentals older women should follow to stay in the pink of health.
1. Calcium Is The Key To Bone Health.
Calcium is one of the most prominent nutrients that build bones and teeth and keep them healthy with age. Lack of calcium in the diet may make your bones leach calcium and, in the process, weaken them. Calcium deficiency in women over 50 leads to brittle bones and osteoporosis.
Include dairy products such as cheese, leafy green vegetables, fish, tofu, and other calcium-fortified foods such as green beans, cabbage, garlic to get adequate calcium from food.
CBD has also proven to be a source of calcium and other essential vitamins that help strengthen bone density and prevent bone mineral loss.
2. Protein Helps Preserve Muscle Mass.
Protein-rich foods are a dietary must in older adults. They help in fighting illnesses, as well as maintain muscle mass and bone strength. Yet, many older adults do not eat enough of it, which puts them at risk of reduced mobility, slower recovery from illnesses, and loss of independence.
In a 2018 study on the link between protein intake and muscle strength in aging, researchers found that those who include sufficient protein in their diet were 30 percent less likely to become functionally weak.
What should be the daily protein intake for seniors? According to Recommended Dietary Allowance, a 150-pound woman should eat 55 grams of protein a day. Good sources of protein for older women include Greek yogurt, milk, lentils, skinless chicken, and cottage cheese. You can also find sources of protein in Plant-based diets. If you are vegetarian or vegan, eat soy, quinoa, beans, and nuts to fulfill your protein intake.
3. Vitamin B12 Is The Energy Vitamin.
Few of us know that vitamin B12 deficiency may cause older adults to memory start having memory disorders. However, vitamin B12 absorption from food drops with age. Since it’s vital for brain function, the Institute of Medicine recommends oral supplements to women over 50 to get the recommended daily dose for older women of 2.4 micrograms. This amount of vitamin B12 is best for older women to maintain their healthy red blood cells to promote optimal brain function.
Aside from supplements, include fortified foods like healthy grains and cereals in your diet. Make eggs and dairy products for breakfast your go-to source for vitamin B12. For lunch and dinner, include lean meats and fish to up your body’s supply of vitamin B12.
Diets Suitable For Women Over 50
Most people eat food to suppress their hunger and satisfy their taste buds. However, with deficiency-based diseases, it is time to re-think your eating patterns and what type of nutrition you are getting. Here are some of the best diet options for aging women.
● Mediterranean Diet
This diet has one of the healthiest consumption patterns for women over 50. This mostly plant-based diet has a low saturated fat content that includes green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruit, and nuts. Olive oil is the primary source of edible oil used in the Mediterranean diet. Reasonable amounts of animal-based foods such as fish, red meat, eggs are also included in this popular diet. The Mediterranean diet reduces the occurrence of obesity by 30% in postmenopausal women.
● DASH Diet
Heart disease has become one of the leading causes of death in women over 50. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has low sodium content to prevent high blood pressure. The DASH diet prioritizes foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium minerals to reduce high blood pressure.
- Flexitarian Diet
This diet plan is primarily plant-based but also includes occasional portions of meat, fish, and eggs. It suits postmenopausal women who wish to reduce eating animal-based foods for environmental security and health reasons. It emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with less meat while allowing one the flexibility to get more iron and Omega-3s from small amounts of animal foods like red meat and fish.
- MIND Diet
Alzheimer’s disease, a memory loss ailment, is something aging women need to be concerned with. This MIND Diet which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay combines the Mediterranean and DASH Diets to aid in brain health. The MIND Diet puts more emphasis on leafy greens, berries, whole grains, fatty fish, and olive oil and discourages fried foods, butter, cheese, and meat.
Making smart diet changes over 50+ may seem difficult to some women in the beginning. But it is essential to help you prevent bone and heart ailments that may occur as you age. Include foods you love to eat, but also pay attention to good nutrition. You do not have to completely change your diet overnight. Do it gradually with small but significant long-term changes.
What diet changes have you made lately to promote better health? Please leave a comment below.