To promote health and longevity, our total daily meals should contain adequate nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, etc.
According to Times Now, food is a source of several vitamins and minerals that the human body needs to function properly. However, we cannot get all nutrients from one food source. Therefore, Harvard experts have suggested a healthy and balanced diet to promote health and longevity including:
Add fruits and vegetables to your meals
Aim for color and variety in your daily meals. However, potatoes and chips are not considered vegetables to add to a “healthy meal,” because they negatively impact blood sugar levels. Instead, add beans, peas, and lentils.
Include green vegetables in your daily diet.
Cooked fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dried beans, and peas are healthy sources of natural fiber. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is very important and necessary for the body.
Add whole grains
Whole grains such as whole wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, and brown rice and foods made from them, such as whole-wheat pasta, have a milder impact on insulin and blood sugar than white bread, white rice, and refined grains.
A large study of 72,000 postmenopausal women without diabetes found that the more whole grains you eat, the lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all healthy and varied sources of protein. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats like bacon and hot dogs.
Fish is a good source of protein for the body
Healthy vegetable oils
Oil is a source of fat that has very little direct effect on blood sugar. Not all “fat” foods are bad, and not all “low-fat” foods are good.
Saturated fats (meat and dairy foods) contribute to clogged arteries and cardiovascular disease. But monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (healthy plants and oils) are very healthy.
It is the main source of energy for the body, helps you absorb certain vitamins and nutrients, and improves cholesterol levels.
Therefore, choose healthy vegetable oils like olive, canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, peanut, etc., and avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats
Sugary drinks are a no-no. Also, limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings per day.
Fruit juices are not good when it comes to nutritional content because they lack fiber. If you must drink juice instead of fruit, limit yourself to one small glass a day. or simply water is the best choice.
Tea, coffee, and water are the top healthy drinks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that 400 milligrams (about 4 cups of brewed coffee) are a safe amount of caffeine for healthy adults to consume daily. However, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day (about 2 cups of brewed coffee).
Staying active is also important in weight control. All the diets in the world are worthless if you don’t burn calories well. As Harvard reports, research strongly supports the benefits of staying active.
Exercise is beneficial in the fight against a wide range of physical and mental health conditions for people of all ages.
3 Supplements You Might Need After 50
Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are among several vitamins and minerals that older adults may need to consider supplementing.
Usually, we can get the nutrients we need from food in a healthy and varied diet. However, as you enter your 50s, hormonal changes make it increasingly difficult to meet target quotas for certain vitamins and minerals.
If you are concerned about a nutritional deficiency, see your doctor check your deficiency. Usually, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are the three supplements worth considering.
As we age, the body often does not absorb vitamins and minerals as well as they used to.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), women over 50 and men over 70 often don’t get enough calcium. A calcium deficiency can lead to fractures and eventually falls.
If you don’t get enough calcium from dairy, green vegetables, and other calcium-rich foods, your body will take it from your bones, making them weaker. Lack of appropriate weight-bearing exercise can make this condition worse.
Broccoli is a good source of calcium.
Postmenopausal women are especially at risk for weak bones. Follow National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 have a fracture caused by osteoporosis; for men, the odds are up to 1 in 4.
A woman’s chance of breaking a hip is equivalent to her risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer combined.
But hip fractures are more likely to be fatal for men. So it’s not just women who should be concerned about their calcium intake.
The NIH recommends that women age 51 and men age 71 and older get 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Men aged 51 to 70 should get 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
When it comes to supplements, calcium can be found in multivitamin tablets and chewing gum; some supplements contain only calcium or combine it with another nutrient, like vitamin D.
You can also get calcium through foods like tofu, broccoli, kale, and dairy products.
Calcium works best when taken with vitamin D, which aids absorption from the gut.
Vitamin D, like calcium, is important for bone health. It also supports the immune system, nervous system, and may even .
Vitamin D deficiency is often the result of obesity and insufficient sunlight exposure, which is common among Americans.
However, even if you get enough sun, it may not be as effective, because the aging process interferes with your skin’s ability to make vitamin D. People with Crohn’s disease and celiac disease are also more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
The NIH recommends that adults ages 19 to 70 get 15 mcg/600 IU of vitamin D each day. Adults aged 71 years and older should get 20 mcg/800 IU of vitamin D per day.
If you take a vitamin D supplement, take it with food for optimal absorption, ideally with a main meal or snack that contains a bit of fat. In addition, foods rich in vitamin D include milk, yogurt, fatty fish, beef liver, mushrooms.
According to the NIH, when it comes to vitamin B12, older adults are also at a disadvantage. That’s because aging affects the body’s ability to absorb this essential nutrient, which plays an important role in regulating blood, nerve, and genetic health.
Older adults who are vegetarian or vegan, take the diabetes medication metformin, or take stomach acid suppressants to treat certain digestive problems are even more likely to be B12 deficient. And just like vitamin D, people with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease are also more likely to have a B12 deficiency.
Eggs are a great source of protein and complete B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 and vitamin B12.
A B12 deficiency can also lead to neuropathy or nerve damage (which may feel like tingling or numbness in your hands or feet), balance problems, depression, confusion, poor memory, and even memory loss.
The NIH recommends that adults get an average of 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. When it comes to food, you can get vitamin B12 from fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, mussels, and beef liver, as well as from some fortified cereals.