age is just a number. Whether you’re 32 or 82, you can feel young at any age. But society always tries to associate negative connotations with old age, especially once you reach the age of 50. If you are in your fifties, you are either “over the hill” or facing a “midlife crisis”. However, being in your fifties is beautiful, and you can enter this decade feeling healthy and young.
To find out more about healthy aging, we spoke with a few nutritionists to get their tips on feeling younger as the years go by. Keep reading to learn more, and for more healthy aging tips, check out 5 Diet Secrets for the World’s Longest-Living People.
Including regular servings of fatty fish in your diet can help you feel better as you age, especially if it replaces some servings of red or processed meat.
“Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, and mackerel are excellent foods for healthy skin. They are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to support skin and hair. They are also a great source of collagen and hair. Vitamin E, both of which contribute to skin hydration, elasticity, and potential wrinkle control.” Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RDregistered dietitian and author at Go Wellness.
D’Angelo notes that grilling or baking fish is the best way to prepare it, and “stay away from fried fish because you’ll be consuming grease and other potentially unhealthy oils.”
Getting enough protein is always important, but it’s especially important as you age.
“If you’re not eating enough protein, you’re likely to feel lethargic, which can lead to joint pain, depressive symptoms and make you feel old. But in order to feel younger after age 50, you have to adopt eating more protein as a habit for now.” Protein has many benefits, including helping you stay fuller for longer, building lean muscle, shredding fat, and providing more energy throughout the day,” says D’Angelo.
D’Angelo says high-protein foods include chicken, turkey, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and high-quality whey protein powder or protein bars.
To feel younger after the age of 50, try incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your regular eating habits.
“Make it a habit to include some type of fruit and vegetables in at least two main meals. (You can also eat them as snacks). Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense, low in calories, and rich in antioxidants. They can help support healthy skin regeneration and help protect your skin from UV damage. The sun,” says D’Angelo.
“Fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apples, oranges, and grapes are great snack options. For vegetables, my recommendation is broccoli, leafy greens, green beans, carrots, green peppers, and cucumbers. You can eat them individually, or put it all in a salad.”
It’s easy to fall into a routine, but try switching up what you eat in order to get more variety.
“It may seem obvious, but eating the same thing day in and day out can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet to get all the vitamins and minerals your body craves. Try adding a few of them. Grains like rice Brown or barley in your diet as well, because these foods contain fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels,” Janet Coleman, RD, Registered Dietitian with The Consumer Mag.
You don’t have to restrict yourself from eating the foods you love. Instead, something that can be helpful is to listen to your body and stop when you are no longer hungry.
“Many people tend to overeat when they eat at home because they think they won’t notice if they take another bite or two. However, this can lead to overeating later in the day when they are not looking at their food. “They eat meals close enough or they don’t pay attention to their body’s signals,” Coleman says.
Red meat may be delicious, but unfortunately it has been found to contribute to potential health problems, especially as we age.
“Red meat contains toxins that accumulate as we age and cause inflammation in our cells, which contributes to arthritis, cancer and other diseases. Red meat may also lead to weight gain because it is high in saturated fats (which are bad fats). Choose Lean meats “reduce meat or other protein sources instead, such as fish, poultry, or beans,” says Coleman.
Avocados are a great food to add to your daily diet. Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they are made up of very healthy fats and antioxidants.
“Avocados are rich in “good for you” fats (monounsaturated fats). The monounsaturated fats found in avocados are heart-healthy and can reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. Plus Avocados are a rich source of potassium, which can help balance our electrolytes and lower blood pressure.” Rachel Fine, RDN Registered Dietitian and Founder of To The Pointe Nutrition.
“In terms of beautifying powers, the vitamins and fats in avocados provide a boost of age-defying antioxidants and photochemicals. Specifically, vitamins B and C, folic acid, magnesium, lutein and beta-carotene are just some of the major antioxidants. Antioxidants found in This fruit is an aging cream,” Fine adds.