FoodsHealth & Fitness

A diet to boost energy and vitality

Is diet important for health and vitality in ageing?

Diet can control many aspects of how you feel and how much energy you have. According to Web M.D., many foods give you a boost in energy and help you feel especially full of vitality even as you age, including nuts, lean meats, salmon, leafy greens, colourful vegetables and foods high in fibre.

This extra boost of energy may not seem very important when you are young, but as you age, it becomes a key ingredient in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining health and vitality as you age.

What are key nutrients for the ageing woman?

Women need to focus on specific nutritional needs as they age because they are at risk for specific age-related diseases, including osteoporosis from which they suffer at higher rates than men do. This means the intake of calcium and vitamin D is of utmost importance to keep bones strong and reduce risks for osteoporosis.

Menopause also presents the need for certain nutrients. While menopausal women need less iron, they do need an increase in vitamin B12 to reduce the risk of becoming anaemic. Foods that are high in vitamin B12 include fish, shellfish, fortified cereals, dairy products, and eggs.

Discussing your body’s changes with your physician may help you identify other nutritional deficiencies that you have after menopause.

What are the best foods for optimal energy in the older years?

As you age, your nutritional profile changes. The nutritional needs of a two-year-old are different from that of a 15-year-old. Someone in their 30s is not going to need the same amount of calories as a 15-year-old. An 80-year-old is going to have far different nutritional needs than a 30-year-old.

Key nutritional staples in the older population:

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables: These are high-energy foods that offer you key nutrients to help the body function and perform at its best.
  • Increase protein intake: 15 to 20% of your calories should come from protein. This will help you repair age related muscle loss.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: getting enough omega-3 fatty acids reduces your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many other age-related degenerative diseases. Eat oily fish at least twice a week.
  • Calcium and vitamin D: these two go hand-in-hand to help maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, but you cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D, so you need to have both in adequate amounts. If you’re not spending time out in the sun to get your vitamin D, you need to take a supplement. Most calcium supplements are paired with vitamin D to help your body absorb the nutrient. Strong bones allow you to be more active in your older years.

What are the best workout fuel foods for ages 50+?

It is best to stay active and healthy throughout your life to ensure that you lead a high-quality life. Learning how to properly fuel your workouts as you age can help you stay energetic through your workouts. If you have stayed active and healthy up to age 50, your nutritional profile pre-workout probably will not change much. You still want to eat a small amount of carbohydrates 30 minutes to one hour before workout.

All of these are also going to give you bonus effects such as reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering your LDL-cholesterol. Eating after age 50 is all about reducing the risk of age-related disease, even before a workout.

  • Whole-Grain Oats
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Beans

As I get older, I am concerned about my health, should I cut back sugar?

We associate sugar with boosting energy.  However, there are multiple reasons to be concerned about sugar intake no matter your age. As you get older age-related disease becomes an increasing concern. Since many of these age-related diseases can be linked to obesity, sugar intake should be monitored closely.

The Heart Association suggests that men eat no more than 150 calories from added sugar a day and women eat no more than 100 calories from added sugar a day.

Some of the other reasons you will want to limit your intake of sugar is that it has been linked to inflammation in the body, it may cause heart disease, increased risk for type 2 diabetes, and it causes weight gain. Refined sugar is really at best a useless food and at worst a harmful indulgence with zero nutritional value.

A good balanced approach as always is the way to go.  Maintaining a balanced diet and moving our bodies frequently will only be of benefit to you long into the years to come.

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