Food Your Body Needs After 40
Thanks to celebrities welcoming the big 4-0 with open arms, exercises that help you lose weight and are gentle on the joints, and breakthroughs in cosmetics and non-invasive dermatological procedures, aging gracefully has become a lot easier over the past few years
The best thing you can do to help your skin, body, and mind sustain optimum functionality is to maintain a healthy diet. If you continue to eat like you did in your 20’s, rapid weight gain and illnesses won’t be far on the horizon. That includes those wrinkles and love handles. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease also start to become a concern after 40.
Combined with an active lifestyle, there are a few super foods you can incorporate into your diet to help you combat aging and keep your body at its highest level of functionality.
Eggplants are loaded with strong antioxidants called anthocyanins, which provide brain boosting benefits like improved short-term memory. Anthocyanins have also been found to help minimize the risk of heart disease by decreasing arterial hardening and reducing inflammation.
Aside from the usual eggplant parmigiana, you can also bake this veggie with olive oil and pink salt for an afternoon snack or add it to paninis, pasta, burgers, and rice dishes.
Olive oil is the go-to antioxidant of the Mediterranean diet. It has been known to slow brain aging, boost heart health, and reverse memory loss that occurs due to aging. Make it your default oil in dressings and salads.
Green tea has been getting a lot of buzz over the recent years due to its powerful antioxidant properties. Aside from being soothing, it also helps you bounce back faster after a workout session and aids in weight loss. It has also been found that the polyphenols found in green tea help the body get rid of cholesterol and block it from being absorbed in the intestine.
Turmeric, also known as yellow ginger (or yellow powder, when making Indian or Eastern dishes), is commonly most known for being one of the main ingredients of curry. But aside from its cooking uses and spice enhancing abilities, turmeric has also been found to lower cholesterol levels and hinder the spread and growth of cancer cells. The active ingredient in this Indian spice is curcumin, an anti-inflammatory which eases arthritis pain and swelling by blocking chemical pain messengers.
In Asia, turmeric is even used as natural medication that veterinarians prescribe to aging dogs dealing with arthritis. When adding this colorful spice to your food, the options are endless. You can try sprinkling it on your green juice every morning or adding a dash of it your egg scramble. Mix it with salt and pepper and add it to vegetables roasting on the grill or combine it with other spices when making a curry.
Walnuts are great for the body part they look most like – your brain! Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, they keep you feeling fuller longer, activate genes that reduce fat storage, and have been shown to improve brain function.
Instead of snacking on chips or junk food, have a handful of walnuts throughout the day. If you’d rather incorporate them into a dish, the easiest way is by adding them to a pesto mixture or using them as a topping on salads or oats.
Beans may just be the best and most natural anti-diabetes treatment in your supermarket. They’re loaded with high fiber, which helps slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar in your bloodstream, helps your body’s insulin react to glucose, and burns fat faster. It also controls the spikes in glucose levels experienced after meals.
Beans are one of the less popular super foods, but after reading their many benefits, you’ll agree that they should be at the top of the list. They are also cholesterol-free, low in fats, and rich in protein, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Try including these beans in your diet if you haven’t already made them a staple: black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, soybeans, pinto beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, and lentils. Always check the label for salt or sugar additives if buying canned beans and rinse well before consuming.
Eggs are a very good source of high-quality protein and choline. Choline is a compound that aids in regulating genes that cause tummy fat storage, and helps break down homocysteine, an amino acid associated with the development of heart disease.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eggs also provide all the daily nutrients needed to produce energy and keep you going throughout the day.
Fish, aside from being a healthy super food, is also one of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acids that are vital for your brain and body to function at their best. It also helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate and promote collagen production in your skin. This ensures that skin remains strong, especially when healing after an injury.
While all fish are good for you, there are some which are better than others. These are the fatty types of fish like trout, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. Fish is also the best source of Vitamin D, and fatty fish like herring and salmon contain the highest amounts. Try to incorporate fish as part of your meal plan at least 1-2 times a week. Be sure to steam or cook on low heat as omega-3 fats are sensitive to high temperatures.
Beets are a great source of nitrates, which is a natural chemical that lowers blood pressure, increases stamina, and protects the heart by de-hardening arterial walls. Drinking beet juice has also been known to help lower blood pressure in a matter of hours, and those who drank beet juice before exercising were able to work out up to 16% longer.
The nitrates found in beets improve tolerance to high-intensity workouts. They are also rich in betaine, which is a nutrient that protects enzymes and cells from environmental stress, protects internal organs, and fights inflammation.