Forty is no benchmark, but if you have been leading a moderately sedentary lifestyle up until now, this is the time when aging begins to show. You may notice more skin wrinkles, a slower digestion, or poor metabolism leading to fat accumulation. As you grow older, health risks related to heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes also increase.
If you have been on an exclusive fast food diet, these risks are further exacerbated. And before you ask, when we say fast food, we mean anything you buy from a store. So, here are a few dietary changes you can make today to slow down aging, reduce the risk for chronic disease, and maybe even get rid of those wrinkles.
Foods To Eat After You Turn Forty
1. Super Foods For Their Antioxidants
Super foods are indeed a fad that has caught on quite strongly. However, there is some merit to their claim. For example, berries are excellent antioxidants, blueberries being the best among them.1 And antioxidants have a major role to play in preventing some types of cancer, as well as helping the skin regenerate faster.
Likewise, kale is extremely rich in flavonoids, which again demonstrate antioxidant properties.2 Super foods are a good bet to make for your health after forty simply because of this effect alone.
2. Raw Vegetables For Water And Vitamins
The Mediterranean diet is one diet form that is quite prominent today. The diet lowers the risk of heart disease, helps fight chronic ailments and also reduces the number of dietary illnesses. Overall, it increases life expectancy significantly. A large number of fresh fruits and vegetables are a significant part of the diet. Fresh vegetables are inherently rich in water and vitamin content.3
Vegetables like zucchini, gourds, and cucumber are excellent hydrants. Great leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium and iron. Bitter melons reduce blood pressure. Root vegetables are rich in several vitamins and rare minerals. All of these nutrients support a healthy body and assist in weight loss past the age of forty.
3. Tomatoes For Their Anti-Cancerous Properties
Tomatoes are considered fruits by some and vegetables by others. The reason they have their own category is because of the presence of lycopene in tomatoes. Lycopene is an excellent anticancer agent.It is especially useful in preventing cancers of the prostate gland, stomach and the lungs.4
Lung cancer is quite aggressive and preventing it is often considered the best course of action as we age. Further to this, lycopene also has cardioprotective effects. It helps maintain heart health and keeps the blood vessels active and elastic.5
4. Citrus Fruits For Large Amounts Of Vitamin C
Not all fruits are created equal. Citrus fruits offer a whole host of health benefits. Vitamin C in citrus fruits helps strengthen our immunity and keeps us from catching common ailments too often. Vitamin C is also a known antioxidant, and is useful for fighting skin ageing. Carotenoids in citrus fruits have anticancer properties. The fiber content in them helps ease bowel movements and keeps the intestines healthy.6
5. Crucifers For The Antioxidant Properties
Like tomatoes, vegetables in the cabbage family get a section of their own because of their sheer goodness. Cabbage and broccoli can help prevent and treat peptic ulcers.7 Cauliflower and kale have strong anticancer properties.8
Brussels sprouts are some of the best crucifers there are. They adapt well to all growing climates, and can actually reduce and reverse the DNA damage done to use due to oxidative free radicals.9 Ayurveda recognizes compounds and herbs that actually stop ageing, and we think crucifers should be on that list.
6. Wild Fish For The Healthy Fats
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines – you name it. Fish are an excellent source of antioxidant omega 3 fats that also help in protecting heart health. Wild fish are much more beneficial as they haven’t been farmed and have been allowed to thrive naturally. Fish oils are considered to be healthy fats. Fish are also an excellent source of some much needed protein required to maintain muscle health as we grow.
7. Water For Essential Minerals And Nutrients
Water is indeed a miracle compound. It helps in digestion, keeps the systems functioning well, hydrates the skin and supplies much needed nutrients for the body. Most of us get adequate hydration through the foods we eat, especially if our diet is rich in fresh produce. However, we also lose quite a bit of water through sweating and being out in hot weather.
Drinking too much coffee also causes us to be dehydrated. Hence, it is important to strike a balance. Being adequately hydrated also ensures that you don’t suffer from a salt imbalance when you work out.10
|↑1||Borges, Gina, Alexandra Degeneve, William Mullen, and Alan Crozier. “Identification of flavonoid and phenolic antioxidants in black currants, blueberries, raspberries, red currants, and cranberries.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 58, no. 7 (2009): 3901-3909.|
|↑2||Schmidt, Susanne, Michaela Zietz, Monika Schreiner, Sascha Rohn, Lothar W. Kroh, and Angelika Krumbein. “Genotypic and climatic influences on the concentration and composition of flavonoids in kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica).” Food Chemistry 119, no. 4 (2010): 1293-1299.|
|↑3||Willett, Walter C., Frank Sacks, Antonia Trichopoulou, Greg Drescher, Anna Ferro-Luzzi, Elisabet Helsing, and Dimitros Trichopoulos. “Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 61, no. 6 (1995): 1402S-1406S.|
|↑4||Giovannucci, Edward. “Tomatoes, tomato-based products, lycopene, and cancer: review of the epidemiologic literature.” Journal of the national cancer institute 91, no. 4 (1999): 317-331.|
|↑5||Friedman, Mendel. “Anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and other health benefits of tomato compounds lycopene, α-tomatine, and tomatidine in pure form and in fresh and processed tomatoes.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 61, no. 40 (2013): 9534-9550.|
|↑6||Silalahi, Jansen. “Anticancer and health protective properties of citrus fruit components.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11, no. 1 (2002): 79-84.|
|↑7||Cheney, Garnett. “Rapid healing of peptic ulcers in patients receiving fresh cabbage juice.” California medicine 70, no. 1 (1949): 10.|
|↑8||Park, Me-Hea, Mariadhas Valan Arasu, No-Young Park, Yun-Jong Choi, Sang-Won Lee, Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi, Jung Bong Kim, and Sun-Ju Kim. “Variation of glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin: anticancer components in Brassica during processing.” Food Science and Technology (Campinas) 33, no. 4 (2013): 624-631.|
|↑9||Verhagen, Hans, Henrik E. Poulsen, Steffen Loft, Geert van Poppel, Marianne I. Willems, and Peter J. van Bladeren. “Reduction of oxidative DNA-damage in humans by Brussels sprouts.” Carcinogenesis 16, no. 4 (1995): 969-970.|
|↑10||Murray, Bob, and E. Randy Eichner. “Hyponatremia of exercise.” Current sports medicine reports 3, no. 3 (2004): 117-118.|