As a person gets older, it becomes more and more difficult to stay healthy – and more difficult to GET healthy, but that’s not today’s topic. You begin to find that things you did in your twenties and even early thirties no longer work for you. Foods that were once ok are now kicking in around your middle, affecting your blood sugar or cholesterol, or are adding risk for cancer and/or heart problems.
And those last two things pop up as an increasing threat once you hit those late thirties, early forties and beyond. Cancer is the number one killer of people in their 40s, with heart disease a close second. As you move into your 50s and 60s, both diabetes and stroke begin to edge their way up towards those top spots.
A slower metabolism and changes in your hormones as you age are the biggest culprits in a lot of those health complications. Add in becoming more sedentary with your lifestyle as you get older and you have a recipe for trouble. If you’re still eating what you ate in your twenties then you magnify those risks even more.
In other words, you even have to start rethinking what ‘healthy’ stuff you’re eating. As a cancer survivor who was incredibly overweight AND had borderline diabetes, I am now very aware of everything I put into my body…ok, I still fall back to diet soda every so often when the stress piles up. No one is perfect.
Here are a few foods you should consider, as recommended by people far more intelligent than I am. Don’t just add these to your diet, use them as replacements for unhealthy food you’re currently eating (white bread, for example).
5 Foods To Add To Your Diet After 35
1. Salmon: We all know this one, but do you know why? High in both D3 and lean protein, eating salmon will help keep your appetite under control. While eating most fish is going to be beneficial to your health, adding a fatty fish like salmon offers some of the greatest heart benefits. Trout, herring, and mackerel are also solid alternatives.
2. Almond Milk: This is one I resisted for a long time…mainly because I didn’t realize almonds had nipples and that you could even milk them. But I guess they do. Science is a wonderful thing. Seriously, tho, as you get older your body finds it more and more difficult to break down dairy products. Milk and other dairy can lead to some pretty intense bloating and gas. Avoiding dairy will help you keep your stomach flatter than ever.
3. Kimchi: This one is going to be weird for some of you, but growing up in Hawaii I became well acquainted with this pickled dish. One of the issues with eating a ton of processed foods is that your stomach begins to have digestive problems. Surprisingly, fermented dishes will help you out. Kimchi for our Korean-loving friends, sauerkraut, live culture yogurt, or kombucha are a few go-to things to consider in helping to aid the bacteria in your belly fight back.
4. Raspberries: I’ve got to admit, I’m not a big fan but have been eating them more in the past few years. Raspberries have a remarkably high level of fiber in them – something greatly lacking in most of our diets. Sources say Americans tend to eat less than 10 grams of fiber a day…which is bad when you consider we’re supposed to be eating closer to 30 grams to be healthy. A cup of raspberries will add 8 grams of fiber all by themselves.
5. Almonds: I have to resist the urge to add ‘chocolate covered’ whenever I see the word ‘almonds,’ but these babies are fantastic for a few reasons. First, they are sweet and should help battle snack cravings. Second, they are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower LDL cholesterol. Lastly, consider popping a mouthful of these before your daily workout because studies show that the amino acid L arginine helps boost fat and carb burning during your workouts…and almonds are loaded with that stuff!
This list can go on almost forever. With a tiny bit of research you can find amazingly healthy alternatives to bolster your diet as you hit 35 and higher. I’m 45 and am still finding new things to add or change every week.
Start thinking about what you’re putting into your body – start using some higher octane fuel to make sure that engine keeps purring for a long road ahead.
Thanks for reading!
-Mat Nastos, The Karate Geek
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