This post was post published on the Lady’s Room website.

I know us girls don’t like to hear this, but sis, old age will happen. Whether you are catching trickles of grey hair or you have a full crown already, you can be sure of changes that will occur in your body as you age.

But growing old is one thing and looking old is quite the other. Now, before you run along thinking ‘Oh I am slim’ or ‘thank God I don’t have any health/weight challenges’, stop and ask yourself how effective your diet has been.

Believe it or not, poor nutrition and lifestyle affect how you age. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to see the effect of poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle early enough. It may be in excess fat or extra Doctor’s visits.

However, all of us will begin to see the effect of our lifestyle choices in our 50’s and even more in our 60’s. I used the word ‘lucky’ above because at least when you see how a poor lifestyle is affecting you early enough, you can then make reactive changes. But when those effects are dormant, your persistence in that lifestyle will only serve to exacerbate things as you age.

The Right Actions

We all must take the right actions today to enjoy our later senior years. There are a few basic things many of us know. Drink more water than any other packaged or processed drinks.

Incorporate exercise into your lifestyle and love your fruits and vegetables more than processed foods.This is important because as you age, there is a natural expected decline in the body’s function including metabolism, digestion and even coordination.

Usually, it is a result of decreased muscle mass and weaker bones. And then we start to feel this from the onset of menopause, depending on what age it starts to hit, but mostly between 45 and 55 years.As women, a decline in estrogen just about leads to a decline in almost everything.

What this means is that your diet needs to be on point and handled by a professional, especially if there are some health and you also have to supplement with drugs as prescribed by a physician

Here are a couple of dietary changes that should happen in your 50’s (and you can share this with your parents)

Increase your calcium intake

Foods rich in calcium include milk, yoghurt and fortified soya milk will help you age gracefully. You also need calcium and Vitamin D supplements at this age especially because bones need all the help they can get.

Completely eliminate red meat

Sticking to the whites and lean meats are best at that age as they are easier to digest and we do not want to put further strain on the digestive system, Chicken breast, goat meat and fish are great.

Go for the natural spices

As opposed to the packaged ones as they are no longer the best option for your body. Garlic, ginger, onions, black/Cameron pepper, Turmeric and those local spices are great at this age (and at any age actually)

Drink more water

Also, leave fizzy drinks for that proverbial blue moon

Exercise regularly

Maintain an active lifestyle. Most older people tend to stay indoors more as a result of retirement and having a less active social life but even a planned 30min to 1hour walk a day will do the body a world of good.

So, cheers to optimising nutrition as we age!

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