Those days when you could eat whatever you want, whether it was the healthiest foods or the worst foods, and still look like a supermodel are gone. Once you reach 40 years of age, you must shift your focus to proper nutrition because your nutritional needs change.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat good food anymore. In fact, you’ll still be able to eat many of the foods you ate in the past with a little guidance and some tweaks. In this article, we’ll tell you of 25 healthiest foods for people over 40 years old.
Nutritional Requirements of People Over 40
As stated in the introduction, your nutritional needs change as you begin to age. Suddenly deficiencies, supplements, and other age-related conditions become a center-focus of your daily diet. These changes aren’t fun to think about, but they don’t have to make your eating habits dull.
Before diving into the 25 healthiest foods you should eat, it’s essential to know what your nutritional needs are over the age of 40. It’s slightly different for men than for women, so here are some of the highlights separated by gender.
Nutritional Needs for Men
- As you get older, you begin to lose muscle mass and bone mass, which drops your metabolism. Eat foods that boost your metabolism.
- You need fewer calories, so try to stay away from calorie-dense meals.
- Your risk of heart disease, cancer, and erectile dysfunction are higher, so eat more fruit and vegetables to fight against these diseases.
Nutritional Needs for Women
- Women lose around half a pound of muscle each year after 40, so you’ll need muscle-building foods.
- Since estrogen levels drop after 40, which causes insulin levels to rise, this reaction makes you hungrier. So instead of eating more food, simply eat more fiber to keep you fuller longer.
- It’s harder to lose weight after 40, so metabolism-boosting foods are excellent.
25 of the Healthiest Foods for People Over 40
1 – Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which both men and women need. They are also a great source of B vitamins. Two other benefits are that they help to reduce heart disease and obesity.
2 – Green Tea
Green tea is prevalent in Eastern healing and well-known for its health benefits. It reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and fights against cardiovascular diseases. It also links to the reduction of the risk of stomach and prostate cancers.
3 – Milk
Milk really does your body good, as the tagline said. It’s full of calcium. As you get older, your body needs all the calcium it can get to fight bone diseases that start occurring in old age.
4 – Collard Greens
Collard greens are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They provide you with over 30 percent of the vitamin A that you need daily, and that’s in only one cup of collard greens. This helps you to retain healthy skin and good vision.
5 – Eggplant
Eggplant has anthocyanins which provide you with a lot of cognitive benefits. They can help give you a memory boost while also fighting against inflammation. This fact means it’s terrific for people who may have arthritis issues.
6 – Cherries
Cherries are a great source of antioxidants when they’re eaten fresh (not in a cherry pie). They help to stabilize insulin, fight against Type 2 diabetes, and are one of the healthiest foods in the fruit category.
7 – Berries
Berries are yummy, juicy, and sweet, and they also have fantastic health benefits. They are known to help reduce mental decline that leads to diseases such as dementia. They can also keep your mind sharp in your younger years while aiding in weight loss.
8 – Beans
Beans are a great source of protein as well as fiber. They also have plenty of antioxidants, and they help to control your appetite, so you don’t overeat. Plus, with so many varieties, you have plenty to choose from.
9 – Eggs
Eggs are one of the most beneficial foods you can eat. They help to stabilize glucose levels and aid in weight management. They also help you to keep away visceral fat and provides protection against several diseases.
10 – Healthy Oils & Fats
Healthy oils and fats such as olive oil or macadamia oil should have a place in your diet. Not only will they enhance the flavor of your food, but they’ll also help you to absorb vitamins easier. Oils should make up around 20 – 30% of your diet.
11 – Spirulina
This isn’t a typical food. In fact, it’s a blue-green colored algae. It’s packed with antioxidants, including vitamin B1, and is low in fat and calories. It provides a significant boost to the immune system.
12 – Sardines
Sardines are a great source of omega-3 fats. These fats provide you with an unbelievable number of health benefits. This includes improved eye health, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even an improvement in cognitive functioning. It’s one of the healthiest foods with high omega-3 content.
13 – Garden Herbs
Herbs not only make your food taste good, but they help you cut back on your reliance on salt as a seasoning. After the age of 40, too much salt becomes very dangerous for your cardiovascular health. Anything to reduce sodium intake in your life is a great idea.
14 – Turmeric
Turmeric is an Indian spice with substantial anti-inflammatory properties. It’s excellent for reducing swelling, reducing aches in joints, and easing pain from arthritis. It’s also known to help lower bad cholesterol.
15 – Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a pro at reducing bad cholesterol. It also contains flavonoids that work to lower blood pressure. As long as it’s eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is an excellent choice for people over 40.
16 – Guava
17 – Broccoli
Here is another fiber-packed food. Broccoli is excellent for helping to reduce your appetite and keep you full longer. It does this by stabilizing blood sugar and helping to slow down digestion. They also help to balance out certain chemicals, vitamins, and minerals in your body.
18 – Walnuts
Walnuts are one of the best sources of antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties, so they help fight against cardiovascular disease as well as aches and pains. They are a source of the “good fat” that you need in your diet.
19 – Wild Salmon
Packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, wild-caught salmon is terrific for reducing bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease by as much as 36 percent.
20 – Oatmeal
Oatmeal is great for fighting an expanding waistline because it’s full of fiber to help keep you full through the day. It also helps to reduce bad cholesterol and is great if you mix it with other foods on the list, such as walnuts.
21 – Carrots
Orange vegetables like carrots are masters at fighting inflammation. They’re great for pesky conditions like arthritis or other joint pain. Plus, they’re full of vitamin A which can help keep your skin looking good as you age.
22 – Beets
Beets are a great source of nitrates. This nutrient helps to keep your arteries unclogged, which essentially helps to ward off heart disease, strokes, and other conditions. It also has a healthy serving of potassium.
23 – Kale
Any leafy green vegetable is beneficial after you hit the big 4-0, but kale is one of the healthiest foods because its full of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system. It also has a fair amount of folate, making it especially suitable for women.
24 – Cauliflower
This last food is another one with a generous helping of fiber in it. It also has two enzymes, glucosinolate, and isothiocyanates, that are reported to help reduce the risk of cancer. It’s a great food choice.
25 – Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits provide your body with potent doses of the antioxidant Vitamin C. Including them in your diet helps to fight free radicals which assault your body and can reduce your immune system plus cause specific types of cancers.
Some of the citrus fruits to include on your menu are as follows:
If you don’t like eating fruit, consider at least squeezing a twist of the citrus juice into your water bottle.
When you reach 40, it’s more important than ever to get the proper nutrition daily. Your body is aging, but you don’t have to feel like you’re aging if you eat the right foods. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the things you enjoyed when you were younger, but those foods will have to be eaten in moderation if you want to live a long, healthy life.
The 25 foods on this list are the healthiest foods to add to your diet. There is a wide variety on the menu across all food groups, and many of them are excellent foods that provide an outstanding amount of benefits. Don’t be afraid to give a few of them a try to see which ones you like the most. If you’re lucky, you’ll be a fan of all of them!