As a woman, it is easy to get distracted from following a healthy lifestyle. With so much to do every day, including spending time fulfilling family responsibilities and working. Despite this, you should not ignore your own health. In fact, as you get older, your nutritional requirements tend to increase, and if you do not take care of yourself, you will experience a gradual reduction of health. No matter what your age be, it is important to take care of yourself to stay happy and healthy.
In the 30s and 40s, women have to deal with family responsibilities, financial pressures and stressful jobs, with their focus only on living up to expectations even if that comes at the cost of their own health. However, making good nutrition a priority could help you deal with everyday pressures of life with ease. If you follow a poor lifestyle, it poses a risk of altering your nutrient requirements, raising your need for antioxidant vitamins. In this age group, your diet should include more nuts, fruits and vegetables. Combining these with whole grains, meat and fish could help supply an adequate level of vitamin C, B12, folic acid, zinc and iron.
For some women, menopause continues even between the ages of 45 and 55. As a result, this could coincide with a quick decline in bone mass, thus increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Increasing intake of dairy or calcium-enriched soy products could help slow down the process of bone loss. Vitamin D is great for bone health; basking in the sun could help increase the production of this vitamin in the body. Adding more weight bearing exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will certainly help women of this age group stay healthy and active.
During menopause, there is loss of oestrogen, which could increase the risk of heart disease. Maintaining blood pressure by limiting salt intake, controlling cholesterol by avoiding saturated fats and excess calories and indulging in regular exercise can be of great help to women in the 50-60 age group. You can regulate blood pressure by increasing intake of magnesium, potassium and calcium in your diet.
- magnesium – nuts, spinach, whole grains
- calcium - sardines with bones, dairy or dark green vegetables
- potassium – oranges, bananas, potatoes
With age, our energy needs don't remain the same due to loss of muscle mass. In old age, we are less physically active, which further reduces our energy requirement. For women aged between 70 and 80, the need for vitamins and minerals increases because of changes in the digestive system, which makes absorption of nutrients difficult.
All in all, B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, can help in the prevention of stroke, heart disease, depression, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Essential fatty acids from oily fish help prevent cardiac death. For good bone health, increasing regular intake of vitamin D and calcium rich foods may help.