As we age, our bodies needs and functions change. One of the biggest changes is when our body composition shifts from mainly being lean tissue to having a fair amount of fat compared to lean tissue. There are many reasons why this occurs, but one of the most significant is that we need fewer calories or energy as we age. This is partly due to the metabolic slowdown that occurs as we age, which means that our bodies’ energy or calories we eat are not used as efficiently. There is also some evidence that suggests some people may be genetically programmed to gain weight more quickly than others, and this tendency can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition habits or lack of exercise.
It’s important to understand that our bodies still need the same nutrients at 50+ as they did in our youth. The difference is that the amount of food you eat, plus or minus supplements, must deliver these necessary compounds for optimal health and wellness. Some people believe “anti-aging” supplements are needed to supply what they feel their body can no longer produce; however, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief.
We know that the nutrients we eat and the supplements we take must be of good quality for our body to use efficiently. The better the quality, the more likely it will be used where needed rather than eliminated or held onto in storage. The first step to take is to keep your food as fresh, minimally processed, and nutrient-dense as possible.
This means eat vegetables, fruits, and lean protein every day. This will provide you with most of your micronutrients plus a small amount of healthy fat and fiber. The next thing to do would be to take a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement on an as-needed basis. This will ensure you get the nutrients you need every day to carry out your body’s functions. Still, more importantly, it will provide these essential nutrients that are readily available for use within your cells where they can make a difference in how you function and feel.
We asked DavidPaul Doyle Naturewise CEO about the nutritional needs of people over 50.
“For starters, we need to eat the right foods, sit less and move more, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep.” Doyle says that fish with high levels of omega-three fatty acids are very healthy for people over 50 – they reduce inflammation, boost our immune systems and help our brains function at their best.
Talking about fats, Doyle says that olive oil has many nutritional components to it – including oleic acid, which slows down your rate of aging. In addition, your brain will thank you for eating avocado regularly. It’s full of healthy fat DHA, and it helps lower cholesterol, which can help protect your heart.
Vegetables are important, too. Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower contain many antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. “I’m not saying you should live on these vegetables alone,” Doyle says. “But they’re an excellent addition to any meal.”