Not to bash aging or anything but the fact is, when you hit 40, lots begins to change, starting with your body. Your skin—dare we say it—may be getting wrinkles, especially if you’ve been dumb enough to hang outside for too long without sunscreen. And your vision is probably changing, too, meaning you’re wearing bifocals. And then there’s the problem of slower metabolism. What? I can’t shake muffin top with some yoga poses and a few swings of a tennis racquet anymore? WTH?
To feel your best and fuel up for the challenges of life after 40, there are a few quick fixes, though. For starters, you’ve got to nourish your body with a nutrient-dense diet that keeps you looking and feeling young. But eating a balanced diet is a pipe dream a lot of the time. Well, no more making do with a handful of M&M’s or granola bar to keep you going. This isn’t the best strategy, but it is reality, and as a result, requires filling in those nutritional gaps with supplements. Instead, make sure you get adequate levels of these particular nutrients to cope with the shifts happening to your body, and you’ll feel younger and stronger than ever.
The Brazen List: What Healthy Women Over 40 Eat Every Day
1. Women over 40 should eat Fiber
Research has shown that fiber-rich foods may help you lose weight and keep your cholesterol levels under control. There are two types of fiber: Insoluble fiber helps maintain your digestive tract and keeps you from becoming constipated; soluble fiber is important for lowering cholesterol and may help keep blood sugar levels steady.
Good dietary sources of fiber include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans, so eating a healthy diet with plenty of these foods should provide enough fiber for your needs. If your diet doesn’t naturally include enough fiber, take fiber supplements or add fiber to your meals in the form of psyllium or flaxseeds.
THE BEST SOURCES OF FIBER FOR WOMEN OVER 40:
- Whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice and oats
- Beans, including black beans
- Vegetables, such as carrots, cabbage and broccoli
- Fruits, like raspberries, blackberries, apples and pears
- Nuts, including almonds, pecans and walnuts
2. Women over 40 should eat Calcium
Bone density declines with age. Get plenty of vitamin D and calcium, which help keep bones strong and healthy. Calcium is best found in foods, such as milk and yogurt as well as green leafy vegetables and even nuts and seeds. On the other hand, vitamin D typically needs to be obtained via a supplement.
Your doctor may order a bone density scan around age 40 to determine if you need supplementation to ward off bone loss, which can result in osteoporosis later.
THE BEST SOURCES OF CALCIUM FOR WOMEN OVER 40:
- Green leafy vegetables, including kale and broccoli rabe
- Nuts, such as almonds
- Seeds, like sesame seeds
3. Women over 40 should eat Omega-3
When you reach 40, you need to take special care of your heart with diet and exercise. Among the best nutrients for heart health are omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna and anchovies. Plant-based omega-3s are found in flaxseeds and walnuts. There are those flaxseeds again.
Getting the right level of these essential fatty acids, whether from food or fish oil supplements, may have a positive impact on triglyceride levels as well as arthritis and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) symptoms. We’ve also found there’s a role for other vitamins in heart health and suggest taking a personalized multivitamin that will give your body exactly what it needs.
THE BEST SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FOR WOMEN OVER 40:
- Salmon, tuna, halibut and anchovies
- Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds
- Nuts, including walnuts
Doctors Romy Block and Arielle Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins suited to their individual needs. They are the authors of the award-winning book The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.