Your body changes as you age, so your diet should change too. These nutrition tips can help ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to maintain good health after the age of 50.
For women over 50, it becomes even more important to eat the right foods that provide the right nutrients as they help prevent most health problems. Decades of research has equipped healthcare professionals with nutritional knowledge that can help women stay healthy as they age.
Women over 50 should target three key nutrients to help combat the most common age-related changes:
- Calcium and Vit D for bone health
Women over 50 have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. In fact, one in three women over the age of 50 is at risk for a fracture caused by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis also affects men, but at much lower rates.
We absorb less calcium as we age, and some women’s ability to tolerate dairy products also decreases with age. Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard) are very good sources of calcium.
Women over 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. Taking vitamin D supplements helps fix calcium, as does 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
- Protein for healthy muscle mass
Older women tend to sit more and move less. This exacerbates the natural aging process known as “sarcopenia,” which is the loss of muscle mass. Adequate protein intake reduces the effects of this muscle breakdown.
Vegetarians who don’t eat meat, an important source of protein, can still get protein by opting for plant-based proteins, which are found in soy, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and beans. Your protein needs depend on your weight.
For women over 50, experts recommend 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of weight. For example, if you weigh 60 kg, you need at least 63 grams of protein per day.
- Vitamin B-12 for brain function
As women age, they absorb fewer nutrients. One key nutrient they may not be getting enough of is vitamin B-12, which is essential for maintaining healthy red blood cells and brain function.
The best sources of vitamin B-12 are eggs, lean meat, fish, and fortified foods like grains. Vegans, in particular, need to choose fortified foods, but even seniors who eat all foods can struggle to get enough vitamin B-12. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 for women over 50 is 2.4 micrograms per day.
Good to consider after 50
Choosing whole foods, fruits, and vegetables will help you avoid many common problems that come with aging.
Drink before you are thirsty. The way your body perceives thirst changes as you age. Be sure to drink at least 1-1.5L of water even if you are not thirsty.
Like our content?
Receive our latest publications directly in your mailbox every day free of charge