Vitality

Best Foods For Women In Their 40s

The candles on your birthday cake are not the only things that you should be counting as you age. Once you reach your 40s, you may have to frequently keep tabs on your metabolism, muscle mass, hormone balance, mood and weight since from that point on, you might be prone to health problems that you may have not dealt with when you were younger. Fortunately, it is also time for you to adjust accordingly as far as your long-term health and wellness are concerned. 

Besides doing exercises, getting enough sleep and reducing stress, eating nutrient-rich foods can help you lessen your health-related worries in the future. The question is which foods are good for you in your 40s?

Sarah Mirkin, registered dietitian and author of "Fill Your Plate, Lose The Weight," has shared her list of nutritional all-stars that are full of age-reversing nutrients:

  1. Flaxseeds - An excellent source of heart and brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are packed with fiber for long-term digestive health.
  2. Salmon - Salmon (and other fatty fish) are rich in omega-3s and lean protein. Its fat has more than double the calories of protein and carbohydrates but helps keep your cravings in check. It also makes your skin glow, Mirkin told Prevention.
  3. Avocados - Thanks to their decent potassium content, avocados, which are also high in healthy fats, help keep your skin soft, nourish your hair and help lower blood pressure.
  4. Nuts - Nuts are high in fiber, healthy fats and protein, making them filling, weight-loss-aiding snacks. In addition, their nutrient content helps reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions, according to Mirkin.
  5. Watercress - Mirkin said that watercress is "packed with water, vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants that kill free radicals," which contribute to premature skin damage.
  6. Sauerkraut - This fermented cabbage-based condiment contains gut-boosting probiotics. Research shows that these good bacteria may improve immunity, mood, digestive function and even the skin.
  7. Dark Chocolate - "Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, which protect your heart, reduce the risk of diabetes, and lower blood pressure," Mirkin said.
  8. Dark Leafy Greens - "Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens, contain high amounts of vitamin K, lutein, folate, calcium, and beta carotene, which can preserve memory functioning," per Mirkin.
  9. Berries - Berries both brighten your dish and supply you with hunger-stopping fiber. Their gem-like hues greatly indicate their concentration of nutrients. "Dark pigmentation and rich color means the berries are high in disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals," Mirkin explained.
  10. Garlic - For women over 40, garlic is a great wellness-boosting herb. "Studies suggest that garlic can minimize bone loss (osteoporosis) by increasing estrogen levels. It is also nutrient-rich with very few calories and adds flavor to foods so you’re satisfied with less," Mirkin said.
  11. Edamame - Packed with 9 grams of protein in just half a cup for less than 100 calories, this versatile soybean is also loaded with folate (vitamin B9), vitamins A and C and potassium -- all heart-healthy nutrients.
  12. Greek Yogurt - Mirkin said that Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, a bone-strengthening mineral, and also contains almost no sodium. Having a thicker consistency than other yogurts, it also has more filling and energizing protein, in addition to active gut-health-supporting cultures.
  13. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - A staple of the Mediterranean diet, extra-virgin olive oil contains healthy unsaturated fats that have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties to promote both longer life and optimal heart health.
  14. Eggs - This versatile food is packed with bone-boosting vitamin D, brain-boosting choline and muscle-aiding protein. "The high fat and protein content (plus lack of carbohydrates and sugars) in eggs makes them an excellent choice for women over 40," Mirkin, who suggested scrambling one egg with three egg whites for a slimming and filling breakfast, said.
  15. Chia Seeds - Chia seeds contain fiber, omega-3s, magnesium for bone health and complete plant-based protein. Because these tiny but mighty seeds absorb water well, eating chia is also thought to aid in boosting fullness.
  16. Onions - "(Onions) are high in the protective antioxidant vitamin C, B vitamins for a healthy metabolism, and potassium for stable blood pressure levels," Mirkin said. 
  17. Carrots - In addition to having potassium, fiber and vitamin K, carrots contain beta carotene, which is responsible for their vibrant orange hue. This pigment is then converted into vitamin A, an immunity-boosting, eye-friendly nutrient. "In your 40s, it’s more important than ever to eat more vitamin A-rich foods, because they also protect your eyes from cataracts," Mirkin said.
  18. Broccoli - Loaded with digestion-aiding fiber, this cruciferous vegetable is full of antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins C, B6 and A -- all of which Mirkin said can help stave off cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and other chronic conditions as you age.
  19. Chicken - Low in fat and calories, chicken is a weight loss staple for one reason: It packs about 25 grams of protein in just four ounces (about the size of your palm). 
  20. Bell Peppers - compared to oranges, bell peppers contain more vitamin C, which both boosts immunity and promotes collagen production. Though any colored bell pepper works, the red one is sweeter.
  21. Beans - beans are full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber, along with folate and iron. Darker bean varieties such as kidney or black beans have higher concentrations of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  22. Quinoa - A single cup serving of quinoa serves a whopping 8 grams of complete plant proteins. This fluffy grain also offers tons of satiating and gut-healthy fiber.
  23. Basil - Mirkin said that this herb is loaded with polyphenols, which aid in soothing arthritis-linked chronic pain and even good for the liver, brain and heart.
  24. Ginger Root - A single teaspoon of ginger weekly can improve artery function, per Mirkin. Studies have shown that even in supplement form, this fragrant root may also help prevent diabetes, ease menstrual and muscle pain, and possibly even ward off obesity. Ginger root is also a great natural remedy for nausea and other digestive issues if you have tummy problems.
  25. Sweet Potatoes - these bright-orange roots are among the healthier carb sources since they pack fiber, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and A.
  26. Tomatoes - Found in salsas, sauces, salads and sandwiches, these juicy, tangy fruits are nutritional superstars. Red tomatoes, in particular, are loaded with lycopene, a carotenoid that helps reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Low in calories, they are also high in potassium, zinc and vitamin C.
  27. Mushroom - According to one study, mushrooms contain higher amounts of two important antioxidants compared to other foods: ergothioneine and glutathione. Ergothioneine, in particular, is known for mitigating oxidative stress, which can exacerbate aging and diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. In addition, mushrooms also contain vitamin D, which is normally obtained via sunlight.
  28. Oregano - Mirkin said that this powerful green herb is "rich in antioxidants that fight free radical damage," potentially keeping inflammation at bay.
  29. Citrus Fruits - Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes contain tons of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients that are shown by research to boost brain health, aid in weight loss, protect your heart and even make your skin glow.

Broccoli Two of the health benefits of broccoli include improving eyesight and lowering cholesterol levels. jackmac34/Pixabay

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