What happens when you turn 50 besides telling your friends that it’s the “new forty?”
You begin to see symptoms of chronic illness appear in the family and acquaintances, if not in your own health. Diseases start to rear their ugly head, as a result of accumulating nutritional insults over the first half of your life, registered dietitian warns. Issa Kojawski, MPH, DAMHe holds a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics and has Mind, Energy, Awareness and Nutrition. For example, metabolic disorders such as hypertension, obesity, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are lifestyle related, driven by poor food choices that cause tissue-damaging chronic inflammation.
If you are 50 years or older, The best eating habits you can adopt to reverse these health problems is to fill your plate with anti-inflammatory foods at every meal, says Kojawski. It’s about “vegetarian foods that were once alive and had their own immune systems,” she said.
“Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of polyphenols and antioxidants that repair and restore damaged cells.”
The importance of eating anti-inflammatory foods after the age of fifty.
Inflammation can be a good thing; It is the immune system’s response to foreign invaders such as pathogens. But it is also caused by eating inflammatory foods such as processed foods, fried foods, baked goods, and red meat, as well as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Related14 Inflammatory Foods That Cause Weight Gain
This chronic, low-grade inflammation is persistent. It never goes away and can eventually do damage to the body. Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Anti-inflammatory foods protect against diseases
An anti-inflammatory diet can alter the course of chronic diseases, Kojawski says. She says the number one food to start eating at nearly every meal is dark leafy greens.
“Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and dark greens are nutrient-dense. Choose anything that is pigmented and deep in color like blueberries, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley, and cilantro. It’s easy to incorporate into any meal.”
Related: Best and Worst Vegetables to Eat – Ranked by Nutritional Benefits.
Anti-inflammatory foods support mental health as you age
These anti-inflammatory foods are also important for maintaining good mental health as you age. “Many mental disorders can be a manifestation of deficiencies in B vitamins, folic acid, and vitamin D,” Kojawski says. “Without these nutrients, your neurons won’t function properly for key processes, and you may experience a domino effect from brain fog, anxiety, depression, and even dementia.”
Eating a high-fiber diet is another important dietary habit to follow when over 50.
Another anti-inflammatory nutrient that is a must for people over 50 is dietary fiber. Fiber is essential to a healthy microbiome in your gut. “The gut and the brain are very interconnected,” Kojawski says.
“Foods affect your microbiota, which in turn can create serotonin in your gut that regulates your mood.”
For a delicious way to further combat chronic inflammation, check out the best spices to reduce inflammation, says science.
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