So why don’t we have the waistline and energy of our 20s?
The mind is willing but the body – not so much. It’s not you, it’s age and it is time to explain why our needs change with each decade and which foods are needed most during the 30s, 40s and beyond.
In Your 30s
Those years of eating pretty much whatever you like are fading. Welcome to your 30s. You may be thinking about starting a family or already have and certain body parts have less bounce than they used to.
Folate, iron and zinc are your friends here. Tuck into lean red meat, chicken or fish for your iron, or beans, lentils, cereals, fresh fruit and green vegetables for non-meat alternatives. Unfortunately, soil is so depleted of zinc these days you will need to grab oysters, almonds, cashews and kidney beans to get it. Talk to your doctor about folate, especially if you are thinking about getting pregnant as New Zealand folate levels are traditionally low and a supplement might be required.
In Your 40s
Once minor aches and pains become more persistent. Welcome to your 40s. This is a time of transition as both men and women as hormones are on the decline.
It’s quality not quantity now. Find lots of colour from fresh fruit and vegetables, up those good fats such as chia seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts and all those lovely oily fishes like salmon, sardines and mackerel.
And speaking of quantity. Are you satisfied from what you have eaten? Or so full it’s time to lie on the floor? You get the picture.
In Your 50s and 60s
No time for a mid-life crisis and definitely don’t stop moving. Welcome to the 50s and 60s. Do anything – walking, yoga, swimming whatever the preference, keep those joints moving to gain flexibility, mobility and balance.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods will also assist here – garlic, cocoa, berries, turmeric (also known for its anti-cancer properties). Plus, it’s time to add a little more fibre. Office fruit delivery is a no-brainer now and will ‘up’ your fibre intake without any effort. Kiwifruit is particularly good for soluble fibre needs.
In Your 70s
With all the changes happening in an older digestive system eating may turn into grazing as opposed to definitive meal times. Welcome to the 70s. Dairy intolerance is known to also become increasingly common. However, it is good to get a fresh milk supply from yoghurt and cheeses which many can tolerate and of course helps with bone strength. Bump up the fibre with leafy greens and fruit once again.
Most of all keep moving which will, in turn, keep you laughing! And the rest is a combination of luck and good times so you can welcome in the 80s, 90s and beyond.