Whether you’ve just turned 50 or been in your 50s for a little while now, chances are your body is going through a lot of changes.
“This is the time in life when many of us notice increased blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which puts us at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring YOU and author of The Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
Because of the way your body changes in your 50s, it’s important to make changes to your lifestyle and diet to meet new challenges that may arise.
We spoke with several experts for the complete guide to what you should eat in your 50s. And for tips on how to stay active and motivated, be sure to read The Best Way to Get a Lean Body After 50, According to Science.
Avocados are a popular superfood for people of all ages, but their nutritional value is especially helpful when you are in your 50s and 60s.
“Avocados are nutritious powerhouses and naturally packed with antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats to keep your body strong on the inside and your glowing skin on the outside,” says Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimming with smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition.
RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news delivered to your inbox!
You can still increase your longevity even at 50, and one way to do that is to use olive oil.
“A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been studied for decades as a key ingredient contributing to longevity in blue zones, or regions of the world where people live the longest,” says Burak, “and that’s because it’s a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and antioxidants, which may lower your risk of inflammation and chronic disease.”
For more information on the Blue Zone Diet and what it’s like to eat this way, check out The Best Diet for a Longer Life, According to Dietitian.
Salmon is an incredible source of healthy fats and antioxidants and has been shown to help improve heart health and reduce inflammation in the body.
“Fish oil from wild sources like salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, may potentially slow aging by preventing heart disease and the progression of dementia because it promotes brain health,” explains Burak.
RELATED: The Secret Side Effects Of Consuming Canned Salmon, Experts Say
According to Jamie Feit, MS, RD, owner of Jamie Feit Nutrition, blueberries are another great food to eat in your 50s.
“Blueberries are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, and are known to lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and keep you full,” says Feit.
RELATED: Secret Effects Of Eating Blueberries, According To Science
Not only are Brazil nuts a delicious, low-calorie snack, but they’re also packed with a helpful mineral called selenium.
“Selenium is a mineral that works in the body to provide antioxidants that decrease inflammation and help your immune system to function properly,” says Feit. This is especially important after the age of 50, as one of the most recognized consequences of aging is a decline in immune function.
RELATED: A major effect of consuming Brazil nuts, says dietitian
Flaxseeds are a powerhouse of health benefits and have been linked to lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and even blocking cancer cell formation.
“Flax seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help improve skin, joint and bone health, and even help improve your mood,” says Feit.
If you’re looking for a delicious way to incorporate more flaxseed into your diet, try making these Flaxseed Buttermilk Pancakes.
RELATED: A Major Effect of Flaxseed Consumption, According to Science
Walnuts are known to lower LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol, and according to Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, co-author of The Menopause Diet, A Natural Guide to Hormones, Health, and Happiness, they can also improve the health of your brain.
“A recent study found that people who ate 5 servings of nuts per week had a 14% lower risk of death (from all causes), a 25% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and gained more than a year. life expectancy compared to people who haven’t eaten nuts, ”says Ward.
Some people may not realize that beans are one of the most important foods to eat for healthy aging.
“Beans are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, potassium, and have been shown to help trap cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as control blood sugar,” Pincus explains, “and they also contain plant proteins, as well as copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium which are nutrients that many Americans do not consume in sufficient amounts.
According to Pincus, the U.S. Diet Guidelines for Americans recommend eating about 3 cups of legumes, including beans, per week, which works out to about 1/2 cup per day.
Oatmeal has been proven time and time again to be a reliable and healthy addition to any diet, especially for people over 50.
“Oats are a source of soluble beta-glucan fiber, which has the benefit of binding cholesterol, helping to control blood sugar, and contribute to a healthy gut while keeping you fuller for longer, ”says Pincus,“ and oats also contain antioxidants that may help with reduce inflammation and contribute to cardiovascular health. “
Read this next: