They say that age is just a number. You may be 40 and feel 30, but the fact is that you need to be more careful of what you put in your body. As we age, our metabolisms slow down and blood pressure and cholesterol become harder to manage. However, just because you’re knocking on 40’s door doesn’t mean dish after dish of dry chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Here are 40 of the most beneficial superfoods that are safe to eat at 40 years old.
1. Almond Flour
One of the most effective ways to maintain your health is by reducing how many refined carbs you consume. Refined carbs are found in pasta, bread, and crackers. However, you don’t have to refrain from eating baked goods; simply make the switch from refined flour to almond flour. There are fewer carbs, way more healthy fats, and even traces of protein.
2. Wild Salmon
As you reach your 40s, you might notice a drastic change in appetite. To keep it in check, you need to consume more Vitamin D3 and lean protein – basically, wild salmon. Their high omega-3 fatty acid content also helps keep brain-deteriorating conditions at bay.
3. Pearled Barley
One of the healthiest grains you can eat is pearled barley. Its high fiber content significantly reduces cholesterol levels to a more manageable level. Basically, pearled barley is a heart-healthy food that you should consume more of as you get older.
4. Plant-Based Milk
A round tummy can be an indication that you should cut down on bloat-inducing foods. This means reducing the amount of cow’s milk and cream we put in our coffees. A great non-dairy substitute would be plant-based milk from soy or almonds.
We often mistake healthy for being bland-tasting. This isn’t actually too farfetched, really, since sugar and other flavorings aren’t exactly deemed healthy. However, if you like a bit of kick in your coffee or oatmeal, skip the teaspoon of sugar and instead infuse them with cinnamon. One teaspoon of ground cinnamon can really add flavor, and there’s no risk of spiked insulin levels.
6. Chia Seeds
One of the most surprising things about fats is that certain types, like omega-3, can actually help you lose weight. Since age causes our metabolisms to slow down, they need all the help they can get. Consuming chia seeds is an easy way to increase your omega-3 intake and keep your waistline slim.
7. Dark Chocolate
Getting rid of a sweet tooth can be hard, even as you grow older. The good thing is that dark chocolate is actually beneficial for the health of older people, provided you’re eating the right kind of chocolate. Find a bar of at least 70% cocoa solids to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
8. Fermented Foods
Ensure that you’re diet doesn’t consist of processed meats and snacks since they can cause digestive problems later on. To counterbalance the effects of such foods, it’s a good idea to consume fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. The probiotics they provide help give your gut flora additional strength in dealing with unhealthy meals.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a type of antioxidant, which helps clean artery walls and minimizes the risk of artery buildup. Make sure you add plenty of tomatoes to your salad and breakfast omelet. Keep in mind that ketchup doesn’t count.
Raspberries contain both cancer-eliminating phytochemicals and a huge amount of fiber – 8 g per cup. If you’re feeling a bit constipated, a handful of raspberries could be exactly what you need.
This popular spice used in Asian cuisine has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. Their anti-inflammatory properties help in treating stomach problems and heartburn. Consuming turmeric regularly has also been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s later on in life.
Blueberries are best-known for being jam-packed with antioxidants that work to fight common colds and inflammation. They also make a hearty snack and a great smoothie base. Throw a couple of these in the blender next time you need a wake-up or workout blend.
Lycopene, potassium, Vitamin C, and a ton of water – that’s what watermelon is all about. Watermelon is a great summertime snack and drink base. There are even savory watermelon dishes out there to try!
It’s omelet time! You may have heard that egg white omelets are healthy, but in fact the yolk is where the magic is. Healthy fats found in the yolk curb cravings and carve away at belly fat. Next time you’re craving eggs, don’t leave out the runny yellow.
You may not like it, but liver actually helps our own livers filter and eliminate toxins from our bodies. Liver is also full of B vitamins like B12 which improve blood flow by keeping our arteries healthy. Don’t go making liver a regular part of your diet plan since it contains more cholesterol than you need. A single 3-oz serving every week should suffice.
Avocado, the rich, creamy, beautifully green fruit doesn’t just please the tongue, but it also pleases the body. The monosaturated fat content in avocado helps decrease cholesterol and deflate a round belly. Avocados also keep you fuller for longer, further supporting weight loss.
17. Pork Tenderloin
As you’re knocking on 40’s door, it’s best to steer clear of heavy red meats and instead opt for a leaner option. Healthy alternatives include chicken and fish, but pork – specifically the tenderloin – outweighs them all. Apart from containing a healthy dosage of potassium, pork tenderloins also come with magnesium which helps lower blood pressure.
18. Red Onions
Red onions contain quercetin and anthocyanin which are known to effectively fight against colon cancer and breast cancer. Red onions encourage cancerous cells to… get this… commit suicide! French onion soup? Yes, please!
In order to slash your risk of heart disease by up to 20%, you’ll need to add consuming oats to your regular morning routine. Start your day with a heart-healthy, oat-laden smoothie or bowl of oatmeal. Add cinnamon and honey to give them a natural, healthy sweetness.
Packed with fiber, chickpeas are another bean that you shouldn’t live without. They taste best when sprinkled with lemon, a bit of salt, and (if you’re looking for a kick) cayenne. You can even make your own hummus with chickpeas to use as a dip for veggies.
21. Black Beans
You know what works twice as much at reducing the risk of heart disease? Black beans! A daily 3-oz serving of black beans can help your heart pump stronger and for longer, thanks to the magnesium, fiber, potassium, and B vitamins contents.
Spinach, a leafy green that most children grew up hating, helps carve away stomach fat. Everybody should eat spinach though since it’s packed with Vitamin E and betaine which eliminate storing fat and toxins in the liver.
Eating flaxseeds help increase the good type of cholesterol (HDL) while keeping our bellies fuller for longer. One serving of flaxseeds contains roughly a little more than 3 grams of fiber. Add flaxseeds to your morning smoothie to keep hunger pangs at bay before lunchtime.
If you’re low on Vitamin A, something that happens to many people over 40 years of age, then just nibble on a carrot. A medium-sized carrot can supply you with more than 200% your daily recommended dosage to keep your eyes sharp and your skin silky smooth.
Kale’s Vitamins A, C, and K content give the leafy green anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also bursting with fiber, calcium, and iron. If you can’t stomach the taste and feel of spinach, then kale can be an excellent substitute.
If you’re planning on eating more salads (something you should consider as you knock on 40’s door), then build your salad with a heavy dose of watercress. Raw watercress can reduce DNA damage and the risk of cancer by more than 15%. It also helps your skin look young so you can feel young.
Apparently, an apple a day keeps both the doctor and age lines away. Apples are full of pectin which helps our bodies reduce how much cholesterol it absorbs. The best part is that any type of apple of any hue contains pectin, so whether you like sweet Reds or tangy Greens, you’re getting the full benefit of pectin.
Of all the sweeteners out there – both natural and artificial – honey is the only one that actually has health benefits. It contains iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium, and zinc. In short, these chemical compounds together help strengthen your immune system.
Just a whole banana a day can slash your risk of heart attacks by a third. One banana! The potassium content in bananas is extremely beneficial in keeping blood pressure at a manageable level. If you were to rely on two fruits to boost your health, it should be apples and bananas.
30. Olive Oil
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has many health benefits that older people would definitely benefit from. Other than helping you lose weight by cutting calories, olive oil comes with Vitamins A, D, E, and K – all of which are needed to help our hearts beat. A good way to incorporate more olive oil into your diet is by making an OO-based vinaigrette for your salads.
This bean is a great source of potassium and fiber, both of which are needed to improve the health of our hearts. They may taste bland, but you need to resist the urge to drown them in salt; instead, put them in salads or eat them with some homemade hummus.
32. Collard Greens
A single cup of these leafy greens can give you upwards of35% of your daily recommended dosage of Vitamin A which is essential for beautiful, resilient skin and perfect vision. It’s also a Vitamin C-rich green which helps improve our immune system’s disease-butt-kicking abilities.
33. Red Wine
Every blend of red wine contains resveratrol, a chemical compound that works to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind). If you’ve suffered from blood clots in the past, you should increase your red wine consumption to two 5-oz glasses a day.
Oh, garlic, how misunderstood you are. You make bread taste lovely while leaving a smelly smell in your wake. Garlic is a natural detoxifier which works well in reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It’s also been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of esophageal and stomach cancers.
35. Walnuts and Almonds
If you eat 1-1/2-oz servings of nuts four or five times a week, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by more than a third! They have a higher fat content than most, but they’re also packed with omega-3s. If cracking walnuts isn’t your thing, try instead to chomp on a couple handfuls of almonds every week. Magnesium in almonds works to keep our hearts fit.
36. Grass-Fed Beef
Growing olds mean muscle deterioration so working out more is vital to keeping your muscles intact. To help with developing muscle mass, you’re going to need sufficient amounts of protein from natural sources. Grass-fed beef is filled with protein and omega-3s that help burn fat. Grain-fed beef also contains protein and omega-3s but in significantly smaller quantities.
37. Boiled Peanuts
Raw peanuts are fine since they contain protein and fiber. However, if you’re looking to release the hidden secrets of these shelled legumes, boiling them will release resveratrol which works wonders for your heart. If you don’t consume alcohol, eat boiled peanuts; resveratrol is the heart-saving component in red wine.
Spirulina powder is a vegan-friendly source of protein. It’s also filled with antioxidants, calcium, iron, and Vitamin B1. Add a few spoonfuls of this algae powder into your morning smoothie to keep free radicals at bay.
39. Sweet Potatoes
Like watermelon and bananas, sweet potatoes contain potassium which helps strengthen our immune systems and our hearts. Sweet potatoes have carotenoids which regulate blood glucose levels.
You’d think that this sweet fruit with hardly any tang wouldn’t contain huge amounts of Vitamin C, but you’re wrong; a single cup of guava can give you about 600% of your daily recommended dosage! Colds and flues are no match if you’ve got guava on hand. Just keep away from the sugar-laden guava-flavored drinks at the supermarket.