What you need to know:
- At 40, your body is still youthful externally. Internally, however, many of your body systems have started to decline. Unhealthy feeding habits at this age will affect your health sooner and more intensely than in your younger years.
In your 20s, you can eat almost anything, hit the gym, and sweat out all the extra calories.
In your late 30s and 40s, it is a different game altogether. Your metabolism has slowed down and your body cannot take regular intense workouts. This means you will retain most of the calories you take.
At this age also, an unhealthy body is more prone to illnesses, especially prostate cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. Healthy dietary habits are your safest bet to remain healthy.
More fruits, vegetables
Fruits, whole grains, and vegetables have immense benefits for people of all ages. This class of foods is rich in fibres that aid in digestion, stabilise bowel movement, and control cholesterol and sugar levels.
Fruits and vegetables promote the growth of gut bacteria which improves metabolism. This is especially important for older people because their metabolism has started to slow down.
Berries, carrots, red cabbage, beets, and kale are readily available, affordable, and rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the effect of oxidation in the body subsequently reducing the risk of cancers and heart diseases.
Vinegar improves digestion and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol. Sprinkle some vinegar on your vegetable dressing for these and other benefits.
Be serious with hydration
Water plays an important role in almost all biological processes. It is, therefore, important for everyone to keep themselves hydrated at all times irrespective of their age.
As you become older, drinking enough water becomes even more vital. In your 40s, the efficiency of your kidney has started to decline. It does not process and remove liquid waste as it used to in your youth. Make drinking water an intentional duty to help the aging kidneys.
Increase dietary proteins
As you grow older, your muscles start to waste faster than your body can replace them. Eat healthy proteins such as raw nuts, seeds such as sesame, beans, and eggs to rebuild muscle. Fish is also a great source of healthy proteins and Omega 3. These foods reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
However, not all proteins are good for you. Reduce consumption of bacon, cheese, and red meats because of their high fat and cholesterol content.
Take small meals in short intervals
Your stomach shrinks as you get older. This makes you feel full after eating a small amount of food. Your body may, therefore, not get sufficient nutrients from the normal three-meals-a-day pattern.
To help with this problem, try eating smaller portions of food at a time instead of larger ones so the body has time to digest the meal. You can space the meals more closely such that you eat around six small meals in a day.
What to limit
Younger bodies can process most unhealthy foods comfortably. Their body functions almost perfectly and they live an active lifestyle. This changes as you get older. Such foods start causing even more damage to your body because it cannot break them as it used to.
Some of the foods you should avoid or limit include salt, whole foods instead of processed, processed sugars and trans fats.