How To Eat Right For Your Age |

How To Eat Right For Your Age

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While the core principles of a healthy, balanced diet remain the same, what you eat can also impact how well you age. From essential fats to antioxidants, read on to discover the foods you should be eating at each decade of your life for optimal health...


Be Calorie Savvy

While our 20s tend to be the time when you’re most active and have the highest metabolism, make sure your calories are coming from nutrient-rich whole foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs and pulses. Although it can be tempting to rely on processed foods and ready meals, this will do your energy levels no favours so cook from scratch where possible.

Think Zinc

If you’re prone to blemishes, try to incorporate more zinc-rich foods – such as pumpkin and sesame seeds, chickpeas and oysters – into your diet each week. Research shows many acne sufferers are deficient in zinc, a mineral that plays an essential role in cell growth and cell replication, which could explain its role in skin health.

Get Enough Calcium

Did you know that your body is still creating bones in your 20s? You may not give much thought to osteoporosis, but make calcium a priority. Think outside the milk carton – kale, spinach and other dark leafy greens, as well as fish like salmon, are great sources of calcium.

Eat For Your Hormones

Everything from your skin to your immune system can take a hit when you’re active and burning the candle at both ends. Boosting your diet with foods that balance your hormones will give you a glow and keep your health at peak levels – think plenty of healthy fats like salmon and anchovies as well as nuts, flaxseed and eggs.



Manage Your Stress

In-between family life and careers, stress levels can rocket in our 30s, so embrace magnesium, which can help the body to relax and deal with a fast-paced lifestyle. The likes of beans, avocados, dark chocolate and whole grains are brimming with magnesium, and if you’re looking for a supplement, buy the best you can afford and avoid anything with magnesium oxide (a cheaper version) listed as an ingredient.

Take A Multivitamin

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not, your body needs vitamins. If you’re on the Pill, it can rob your body of zinc, magnesium, B2 and other nutrients; similarly, if you’re pregnant or trying to fall pregnant, nutrients are essential. Give some thought to your fertility, too – now’s the time to give up unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive drinking.

Embrace Antioxidants

Antioxidants have been proven to help slow the ageing process, ward off heart disease and prevent changes in DNA, potentially preventing the development of cancer. Be sure to eat plenty of blueberries, blackberries, parsley, cinnamon and turmeric; dark chocolate, red wine and coffee are also rich sources.

On a Similar Note


Cut Back On Sugar

Your metabolism naturally starts to slow down at the age of 40 and from the age of around 45, hormone levels change as oestrogen and progesterone decrease. You’ll also become more insulin-resistant at this stage, meaning you’ll store fat more easily; counteract this by monitoring your sugar intake, including carbohydrates and alcohol.

Think About Phytoestrogen

As long as you haven’t had breast cancer or some other condition that would encourage you to keep your oestrogen levels low, try to eat more foods that are natural phytoestrogens (plant-based oestrogen) such as soy and cruciferous vegetables, which can help to keep hormones balanced. Chickpeas are also a rich source so consider hummus on flax crackers for a hormone-friendly snack.

Remember Fibre

Fibre can help to reduce bloating and makes you feel fuller for longer, making it a key nutrient in the battle of middle-age spread as our metabolism starts to slow. Fibre also helps decrease cholesterol levels as well as the risk for colon cancer – aim for a mix of soluble (from fruits, vegetables and oats) and insoluble (from whole wheat bread and bran).

Practice Portion Control

Metabolism really does decline post-40, which means you may start gaining weight even if you’re not eating more than you used to. To maintain (or lose) weight, be aware of portion sizes and make an effort to stay active.



Embrace Calcium

When you reach your 50s, hormone levels decline further, meaning a lack of oestrogen can leave bones weak. Increase your calcium intake by eating plenty of low-fat dairy products but try to cut back on caffeine as it can interfere with how this bone-boosting nutrient is absorbed.

Increase B12

An increasing amount of data suggests women over the age of 50 are falling short on B12. You need this nutrient – found in the likes of seafood and beef – to produce healthy red blood cells and protect your nervous system. Research shows it may even help prevent memory loss.

Eat Healthy Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids – which can be found in chia seeds, nuts and oily fish – play an important role in post-50 nutrition and can help to maintain healthy eye, brain and heart health. They have also been found to play an essential role in the structure of the skin, helping to maintain a more youthful, plumped-up complexion.


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