It is no brainer that women will have to watch out what they eat after turning 40s, which is considered as a milestone! At 40, your body undergoes a lot of changes, your metabolism slows down, and growing older can take a toll on a woman’s physical and mental well-being. Hence, it is the need of the hour to adhere to healthy eating habits to feel best at any. A well-balanced diet plays a vital role in allowing you to stay in top shape and maintain your wellbeing, including when you hit menopause and even beyond. Read on to know more about the right kind of nutrition after 40.
Congratulations women, you have successfully turned 40! And this is the time you will have to take your health seriously. Yes, you have heard it right! It’s completely natural for women going through the stage of menopause or peri-menopause to experience a variety of emotions, whether it’s PMS, tiredness, anxiety, depression, or difficulty concentrating. To top it all, you may also encounter issues such as hypertension, heart issues, obesity, high blood pressure, or cholesterol levels. But, you need not worry as eating right will help you to keep all the health problems at bay. It is essential to know what to eat and delete to stay healthy and hearty.
Here is what you MUST eat and avoid
Rave up your metabolism and eat food loaded with fiber: Adding whole grains to your diet can help lower increasing blood pressure due to the thickening and stiffening of heart and artery walls. And it even tackles the slowing down of metabolism as, after 30, you may face this problem. Replacing refined grains like white bread and white rice with whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats) will help get more fiber in the body. Did you know? Fiber helps in preventing weight gain and aids weight loss. Moreover, salads are a good source of fiber. Eat colored salad – spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, or even raisins, oranges, and strawberries to stay healthy. These ingredients contain fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C. It also helps keep the skin elastic and protect it against the harmful UV Rays of the sun.
If you already have high blood pressure, eating more whole-grain foods might help lower your blood pressure. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet both recommend eating whole grains.
Eliminate white stuff from the diet: Do you tend to eat those sugar-laden foods? Or have snacks or namkeens loaded with salt? Then, you are doing it all wrong. Beyond 40, it is necessary to bid adieu to the white stuff. Too much salt in the diet negatively impacts blood pressure because it causes the body to retain water. It is this extra water that raises blood pressure. You will be shocked to know that this in turn strains the heart, kidneys, arteries, and the brain. Give up fried, processed, junk, and spicy foods too. Salt is also present in high amounts in cheese, frozen food, and that yummy pizza too. So, try to eliminate salt and sugar from the diet. You can speak to your expert about the healthy options for replacing sugar and salt.
Eating a lot of sweets can be harmful as it can speed up the aging process s as the body converts the sugar to glucose and high blood glucose can lead to diabetes. Not only this, other problems like heart disease, kidney or nerve damage can also occur. Say no to aerated drinks, sweets, ice creams, and chocolates.
Eat foods rich in lutein: Cognitive problems occur as you age. Memory issues, difficulty in concentrating, or confusion are some of the common problems. Opt for foods packed with lutein, a pigment that is present in many fruits and vegetables like green leafy vegetables and carrots. Also, Vitamin E is found in parts of the brain that are linked to memory and vision. Eat spinach or asparagus, seafood, or snack on a cup of sunflower seeds as these things are jam-packed with vitamin E.
Say YES to antioxidants: Want a radiant skin at and beyond the 40s? Then, don’t forget to include antioxidants in your diet. As you age, your skin loses elasticity; you may spot wrinkles, blemishes, and black spots. Add omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and nourish your skin. You can eat salmon, sardine, and mackerel too.
Protein and calcium are must: Want to stay strong? Increase your muscle mass? Reduce fractures and falls? Then, eat foods high in protein. to ensure your menopausal muscles are tip-top, including lean meats and fish, and eggs as well as veggie options like beans, lentils, nuts, and grains. Speak to your nutritionist about the quantity in which you must eat protein as going overboard isn’t a good idea.
Lack of calcium invites bone loss. This loss increases during menopause because of the body’s natural loss of estrogen. Make sure they’re eating enough calcium like seeds, yogurt, almonds, figs, lentils, and so on, to keep their bones healthy. Eat foods rich in Vitamin D too as doing so can help normal functioning of the muscle. Eating oily fish, and eggs can be helpful.
BY: Dr. Alka Bharti, Consultant Nutritionist & Dietician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune