Ageing brings about several changes in our body making it work less efficiently than the hay days. It is important to provide our body with all the nutrients that it needs to function seamlessly. In recent years, chronic conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and neurological disorders have become far more commonplace than infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue which were fatal.
In contrast to these short-lived infections, lifestyle disorders have no permanent cure and stay with you forever. Here are a 5 must eat food products for people aged 50 and above to help fight such chronic conditions with the right nutrients.
Although dietary fiber is essential for all age groups, our digestive system becomes less efficient with age, making it all the mose important to include adequate fiber in the diet. Men over 50 years of age should consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily, while women should consume at least 21 grams. High fiber foods include whole grains, nuts, wheat, cereals, oatmeal, barley, beans, vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and fruits such as apples and pears especially with the peel.
Beans, particularly Fava Beans, are rich in fiber and vitamin B complex including folate, thiamin and riboflavin. This low-fat and low-cholesterol bean also contains essential minerals such as iron, potassium, and manganese necessary to keep the neurons buzzing.
- Apples contain soluble fiber that can slow the uptake of glucose and lower cholesterol levels. In addition, they’re also a great source of the blood pressure-reducing mineral, potassium. Thus, apples may not only help in maintaining your sugar levels, but also lower your risk for heart disease.
- Blueberries, just like apples, comprise of soluble fiber. Not only do they maintain healthy blood sugar levels, but are also packed with vitamins C and K which are both potent. Furthermore, a substance called anthocyanin, which gives blueberries their color, is found to promote brain health and aid memory.
- Pear, with its high fiber content helps in quickly giving that feeling. It lowers the risk of stroke and improves intestinal health, as it is rich in folate, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C.
- Broccoli is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins A, C, B9 and K, so it would just be silly to not consume it. Broccoli boosts your immune system, is great for your eyes and enhancing red blood cell formation. Moreover, it helps your body fight against various cancers such as breast, colon, liver and prostate cancers.
- Asparagus is high in lycopene and protects you from prostate cancer, which is extremely common in older men. It is rich in fiber and vitamin A, and thus, great for the immune system and digestive health. It is common to have constipation as one gets older and asparagus can provide significant relief as it contains prebiotics. These promote healthy gut bacteria leading to regular and clean bowel movements.
- Butternut squash is very beneficial for your eyes as it contains beta-carotene, a precursor for vitamin A. Its high fiber content helps maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free, making it a must have for all adults over 50 years of age. It can be used in salads or as a part of your entree.
Yogurt should be consumed at least once every day. It can also be consumed between meals. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, contains more protein and lesser amount of carbohydrates, sugar, and salt. A single serving of low- or non-fat Greek yogurt provides you with twice as much protein compared to its non-Greek counterpart.
As we get older, conscious monitoring of our diet is the key to lead a healthy and independent life. However, it is essential not to forget the importance of exercising.