Eating For Every Decade : Your Diet Through The Years

When we’re born, those around us do everything in their power to make sure that we get the necessary nutrients. The importance of eating the right foods as we age never fades.

As different stages in our lives bring different concerns, it’s essential to adopt eating habits that will properly nourish our bodies for each stage. We’re constantly cautioned about our drinking and eating habits to ensure that we live a long, happy, and healthy life.

That being said, read on to see which foods you need to consume in each decade of your life so that you can move onto the next one with ease.

In your 20s

At this stage, we’re able to eat and drink as much as we like without worrying about any immediate effects.

However, our twenties are actually the foundation on which we set our future health. During our twenties, it’s imperative that we learn to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

In regards to the prevention of future health issues, it is advisable to make calcium-intake a priority. As we age, our bodies find it harder to absorb calcium so it’s important to stockpile our bodies with the mineral. Calcium can not only prevent osteoporosis but it can also help ensure the proper functioning of our hearts and muscles.

If you’re not a fan of dairy, click here to read about other foods, such as kale and salmon, that are rich in calcium.

Another important mineral to start eating is iron. Iron is responsible for helping to transport oxygen all over the body. Due to menstruation, levels of iron in the body can drop which is why it’s important for women to consume enough iron to make up for what’s lost each month. Great sources of iron include legumes, nuts, and dark, leafy greens.

20s top tip

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Your twenties may be best years of your life, but be cautious when celebrating. Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause future problems for your liver that will be hard to correct.

In your 30s

Your 30s are your child bearing years so it is important to start eating foods that will help prepare the body for pregnancy.

In ensuring a healthy pregnancy, folate needs to be consumed in advance. Aside from preventing birth defects, folate is also used to make DNA and it can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Folate can be found in foods such as broccoli, pinto beans, arugula and cauliflower. Like folate, choline is a mineral that also helps to support a healthy pregnancy and it can be found in salmon, chickpeas and eggs.  Moreover, consumption of iron is also vital during this period of your life.

Our 30s are also the time where we first notice tell-tale signs of premature aging. Loss of collagen begins to occur and this is evident by the loss of firmness in the skin. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can naturally boost the production of collagen. This includes eating omega-rich foods and practicing good skin care.

30s top tip

In our 30s, our metabolism starts to slow down so it’s important to be mindful of what we consume. Step aside from the packaged goods you used to enjoy in your twenties and start to consume more filling foods rich in fiber and nutrients. These include dark leafy green and healthy fats. Also, while you don’t have the same energy as you did ten years ago, do not become reliant on caffeinated drinks as this can cause health issues.

In your 40s

There are a lot of hormonal fluctuations during our 40s as our bodies begin to adjust to the impending change called menopause.

Declining levels of hormones, particularly estrogen, can increase the risk of insulin resistance, which is a precursor to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. In order to counter these effects, it’s important to stay clear of refined foods such as white bread, white rice and sugar. Opt for good carbs like nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

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Our metabolic rates also slow down, increasing the risk of weight gain. While there are natural ways to boost your metabolism, it’s important to stay clear of fatty and processed foods.

Your 40s are also the time in which you begin to gradually lose muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass can lead to loss of stamina, weakness and poor balance. Strength-training as well as protein-rich foods can help to preserve the health of your muscles.

Wrinkles are more pronounced during this time yet consuming antioxidant rich foods, particularly fruits and nuts, can help to make them less noticeable.

40s top tip

Your metabolism has significantly slowed down thus the effects of a fast-food binge will be more pronounced in your waist. You’ll need to completely cut out processed foods as these have high levels of salt. A high intake of salt can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.

In your 50s

The hormonal effects of menopause can lead to health concerns that your diet can help to address.

Firstly, menopause can increase the risk of bone loss thus once again proving the importance of calcium. Menopause also affects levels of iron and folate so it’s important to continuously eat leafy, green vegetables.

50s top tip

Your body is more sensitive so stay clear of processed and refined goods. They can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

In your 60s and beyond

During this stage, your digestive system starts to slow down and this can have adverse effects on your health.
In this case, it’s important to ensure that you consume adequate levels of fiber. Aside from supporting a healthy digestive system, fiber can also protect heart healthy by lowering levels of bad cholesterol. Fiber rich foods include pears, avocados, beets, lentils and kidney beans.