Everyday foods every woman over 50 should be eating (part 2)
Here, we are sharing the second half of our 2 part series on foods every woman over 50 should be eating.
Please share this info with any significant other, friend, or relative–These are foods ANYONE can benefit from.
If you haven’t watched part 1 on YouTube or read through the blog post, we suggest going back and watching that first then come back here.
To summarize, we chose these foods due to their nutritional benefits, particularly as it concerns our health as we move into our second half of life.
Aside from just weight, we see so many women already dealing with (or would like to prevent) things like heart disease, hypertension, rising blood sugars, osteoporosis, and memory loss.
We looked for foods that support our cells in one way or another, because the health of our cells is really going to drive our overall health and longevity.
Also, we kept our list to foods that are relatively easy to find in most grocery stores to make it as easy as possible to incorporate them into your diet. View the video below :).
Arugula, collards, Swiss chard, beet greens, collards, dark leaves of Romaine, kale, Bok Choy, mustard greens, spinach, and watercress.
Leafy greens have a rich vitamin and mineral content, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, beta carotene (vitamin A), folate and fiber. This makes them awesome for bone and heart health.
Leafy greens are also well known for containing two famous carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. These serious super-powerful antioxidants can reduce the risk of eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which are much more prominent as we age.
Lutein also plays a neuroprotective role and may help with attention and the ability to focus. Study results suggest that people who eat even one serving of green, leafy vegetables a day may experience a slower rate of decline on tests of memory and thinking skills than people who rarely or never eat them.
Older adults who eat at least one serving of leafy green vegetables show an equivalent of being 11 years younger cognitively. WOW!
But here’s something really interesting:
Leafy greens have been found to help maintain sufficient levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO helps widen blood vessels, so it is really important as protection against hypertension and heart disease.
How to eat…
-Smoothies: Toss into smoothies for an extra green punch.
-Burgers: Chop greens and add them to ground grass-fed beef, organic chicken or turkey.
-Wraps: Use blanched collards or large leaves of Butter lettuce or Romaine as a wrap instead of bread.
-Soups: Chop up kale, Swiss chard or mustard greens and toss right into your favorite soup.
-Sautés: Gently sautéed collards, kale, Swiss chard or spinach are delicious when sautéed in olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or ghee.
We have a great free guide on getting more greens in, so be sure to check that out 🙂
Cruciferous veggies refer to a special group of veggies that belong to the Brassica family. Although so many of the leafy greens fall under this umbrella, crucifers also include other important veggies such as bokchoy, brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips, radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower, just to name a few.
The coolest thing about Cruciferous veggies is that they contain compounds that help activate the body’s natural detoxification process.
In particular, their superpower is to help clear excess estrogen out of the body down a pathway that is more favorable to reducing breast cancer risk.
High intake of cruciferous vegetables is also associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
And as an added bonus, cruciferous veggies are high in fiber and a good source of plant-based calcium, vitamin C, K, and potassium. Darker crucifers like the leafy greens and broccoli also contain lots of Vitamin beta carotene, which gets converted into Vitamin A.
You can eat these by roasting them, in addition to the methods used for leafy greens.
Beans and lentils are often underrated but so important for us women over 50.
They are rich in B vitamins, magnesium and compounds that can help your body produce natural progesterone.
These are all important for mood, bone health, sleep, and may help relieve depression.
Due to their fiber and protein content, beans/lentils are helpful in balancing blood sugar, and in increasing insulin sensitivity. In addition, although different beans and lentils have different profiles, for the most part they contain calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and manganese which are great for many functions in the body AND bone density.
Most beans have high levels of vitamin B6 and folate, which help to lessen levels of homocysteine in your body. High homocysteine levels often indicate an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and accelerated aging.
These nutrients can also help eliminate some toxic compounds from the brain.
Navy beans have the highest amount of fiber at 19 grams per cup, and kidney beans have 16 grams, but all beans are rich in fiber, so any beans will do.
There are tons of ways to add beans to your diet. For example, chickpeas can be added to a salad, made into hummus or pureed with a bit of sea salt in place of mashed potatoes.
You can always add beans or lentils to soups, stews, ground meats, pasta.
An apple a day….
Apples have lots of nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. In addition, apples are another great source of polyphenols and fiber – a medium apple has about 4 grams of fiber.
Apples have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved gut health and reduced risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers. This is attributed to the fact that they are high in soluble fiber, antioxidants and also contain a compound that helps prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
A study out of the University of Oxford compared the effects of eating one daily apple to taking statin drugs among adults age 50 and up. The participants made no other dietary or lifestyle changes.
The results of the study concluded that eating an apple a day had almost the same outcome as as far as reducing mortality.
This is huge! We are not saying go off your medication if you are taking a statin, but that if you are trying to prevent heart disease, this is a wonderful food to include on a regular basis.
There is also some pretty compelling research around the effect of apples and apple juice on dementia.
That’s because apples and apple juice work directly on reducing free radical damage and maintaining optimal brain levels of acetylcholine, which is the main neurotransmitter that helps brain and nerve cells communicate.
Keep in mind that with the juice, it can also have a lot of sugar so we recommend the whole fruit over the juice.
Apples truly are nature’s fast food. If possible, get organic apples as they tend to have higher amounts of pesticide residue.
Add an apple to your lunch, have one as a snack (add a few walnuts for extra credit!), or eat one as an evening treat to quell a sweet tooth. Chop and add to oatmeal or chia pudding. Eat with almond butter, or cut up an apple and roast it with some cinnamon.
Last but not least, pomegranates…
Pomegranate seeds or arils, as they are often called, are a nutritional and healing powerhouse. They’re high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, especially polyphenols. In fact, research has found that the pomegranate has more antioxidant potential than red wine or green tea!
For these reasons, they can reduce disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, and hyperglycemia, due to its anti-inflammatory activities.
Research has also found pomegranates have neuroprotective effects. This may be due to their anti-inflammatory properties since neuroinflammation is a factor in many brain diseases.
One study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that pomegranate’s high level of antioxidants was beneficial in the treatment of animals with Alzheimer’s disease.
They aren’t always easy to find, but they are in season here in North America in the fall to winter months.
Some ways to incorporate pomegranates…
- Add the arils to salads
- Add them to smoothies
- Juice them or look for an organic pure pomegranate juice (glass bottles are best). Aim for about 2oz/day
We go into incorporating these foods and other anti inflammatory foods in our PM Meal Mastery Program. It is a great plan of what to eat after 50 in more detail with examples and recipes. Check out our PM Meal Mastery program – where we help take the guesswork out of what to eat to support your body, brain, bones and, of course, metabolism during these years of change.
THE NOURISHING GURUS
Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.
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