Being 40 is wonderful. You’re smart, sophisticated, and you no longer worry about the little things. If you have kids – they are old enough that you can enjoy yourself, and if you don’t – you will make a great first time parent with all of your life experience. But with this age also comes some changes in your health and body that you might not be ready for.
Bright Side collected some diet tips that can help you ease and even prevent some of the health changes that may come as you enter your 40s.
1. Give your metabolism a hefty shove.
Metabolism is a process of every chemical reaction in the body. There are several reasons why some people have a slower metabolism and unfortunately, age is one of the main culprits. But don’t worry, there are certain ways you can boost your metabolism and eating is key. Make sure to eat often and to never skip meals. To get even better results, add more protein to your diet. It will help you maintain muscle mass and not overeat.
2. Choose whole grains over refined ones.
There are 2 main types of grains: whole and refined. Guess, which one is best for you? Whole, of course. “Whole” means that the grain is either present in its original form or was ground without the removal of any part of the seed. Whole grain is a great source of vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, which helps your digestion and reduces your risk of heart problems, obesity, and diabetes.
3. Go nuts.
Fun fact: nuts are actually considered to be a fruit. A fruit that is high in fat, low in carbs, and has a number of great nutrients. Nuts are loaded with antioxidants that protect cells, they can lower your bad cholesterol levels, and they can help with type II diabetes. They are also considered to be very good for your heart. But be careful eating them, you only need a little bit to get all of the good stuff.
4. Lentils are good for you.
Lentils are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin B9 which is also known as folate. Eating lentils can help you reduce bad cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk for heart problems, diabetes, and obesity. A mineral called selenium, that is not present in most foods, is found in lentils. It helps fight cancer, cognitive decline in older people, and can even improve chronic asthma.
5. Throw in some good bacteria.
By now we already know the importance of having healthy gut flora. Products like kefir, yogurt, and kombucha contain probiotics that help keep our gut healthy. Taking some of those products daily or taking a supplement is especially beneficial for women over 40, who are experiencing premenopausal symptoms.
6. Opt for oily fish.
Fish is an excellent source of rich omega-3 fats and vitamin D, which can not only help prevent heart disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, but also help with depression, ADHD, and even schizophrenia. It also helps to ease some menopausal symptoms. The suggested serving is one to 3 times a week. According to the AHA the healthiest choices are salmon, herring, lake trout, or sardines. If you are not a fan of fish, you can always talk to your doctor about taking a fish oil supplement.
7. Try green coffee.
Green coffee beans are coffee beans that haven’t been roasted, because of this they have more nutrients. This type of coffee has a high amount of antioxidants that can help fight aging. It is especially good to try it now, as you may be showing the first signs of aging. We all want to try to stay looking young as long as possible, so why not?
8. Eat earlier.
According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, the timing of your meals plays a key role in your health and weight gain. People who eat later in the day (noon to 11pm) tend to gain more weight and have higher levels of insulin and cholesterol than those who ate from 8am to 7pm. Late eating can also cause some chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. You may also find that you have more energy if you eat earlier in the day.
9. Make your bones great again.
Almost every cell in the human body uses calcium in some way. And as we age, we absorb less and less calcium from food, which leads to our body taking it from our bones. To prevent calcium deficiency, your diet should contain dairy products, seeds, canned salmon and sardines, beans, and almonds. There are more than just dairy products that contain high amounts of calcium, which is great news for those of us who are lactose intolerant.
10. Add color to your diet.
A lot of fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants but not many of them contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is basically a pigment that gives some fruits and vegetables their bright color. Previous research has proven that food with a high concentration of anthocyanin, like blueberries, beetroot, purple cabbage, or cherries, can improve dementia and the condition of the cardiovascular system in women.
Who doesn’t want to look better in their 40s than they used to in their 20s? Tell us your diet secrets that help you stay young and healthy!
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for Bright Side