As we age, we change many aspects of our lives. We change our wardrobe, choice of friends, taste in music – the list is practically endless. By the time we turn 40, we may not be “over the hill”, but we have passed the days where our bodies tolerate desserts, snacks and empty calories. So it begs the question: have you changed your diet?
Alix B. Landman, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.E, a registered Dietitian/ Nutrition Consultant at landman & Associates, Inc. and NutritionSmarts.com sheds some insight into what women and men over 40 should incorporate into their daily meals.
Vitamins for Your Diet
Most of us take vitamins as an add-on to complete a well balanced meal. Others take vitamins when they can’t get the vitamin in foods (for example, vegans and Vitamin B12). For men and women 40 and over, Landman strongly recommends taking Vitamin D.
“(Vitamin D) effects every aspect of our body,” said Landman. “It’s a tremendous boost to our immune system and it enables calcium to be absorbed.”
People who are 40 and over, particularly seniors, can benefit from Vitamin D if they receive the recommended daily dosage. It can decrease their risk of cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Sadly, there’s a lack of vitamin D in most household diets and it isn’t in abundance as it once was.
“Most people grew up getting a teaspoon of cod liver oil after dinner, which is extremely high in vitamin D. People aren’t doing that anymore.”
For years, studies have told us that vitamin D can come from adequate sunlight. True, but not entirely true. It takes a little more than a sunny day at the beach to receive your daily vitamin D.
“Even if people get a lot of sunshine, it doesn’t always translate into vitamin D,” Landman said. “They should be thinking about optimizing their vitamins from fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.”
Men and women over 40 should incorporate more than just vitamin D into their diet.
- High quality fish oil
- Good quality multivitamin
- Vitamin D pill
Plant Based Foods in Your Diet
Landman also stresses the importance of “going back to basics” and indulging in “plant based foods.”
“People are not eating enough plant based foods,” said Landman. “They eat too many things that come out of packages, when they need an apple instead.”
Studies have shown that eating a low-fat, plant based, vegetarian diet can help prevent a number of health conditions and could reverse heart disease and improve diabetes, obesity and other chronic health diseases.
According to Landman, there’s a little incentive that comes from eating plant based meals – and your wallet will thank you.
“It comes out cheaper when you learn to cook and prepare simpler plant based foods, and is better for your health than eating fast highly processed foods.”