You are what you eat. The original quote is from the early 1800’s. Turns out Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the French author, knew what he was talking about.

As the saying goes, getting old ain’t for sissies

It’s true, getting older brings more aches, pains, and other unpleasantries. These include losing muscle mass, which begins after 30. The less active you are, the more mass you lose. Your stomach produces less acid, and your skin cannot synthesize as much vitamin D from sunlight. Your large intestine weakens, and your body experiences difficulty absorbing calcium.

What you can do

You don’t have to give in to these aging difficulties. Paying attention to what you eat, your nutritional intake, can ease some of these problems.

Upping your protein intake reduces muscle mass loss, a minimum amount of protein is 50g per day. There are apps such as Spark People or Fitness Pal to help you determine your protein intake. Animal protein is the easiest way to increase your consumption, but good vegan/vegetarian sources include tofu, lentils, and chickpeas.

Let’s mention a sticky issue. Got a constipation problem? Less acid production in your stomach could be the cause. Increasing your fiber uptake improves this problem along with preventing diverticular disease.

Something we’re prone to with the Western world diet. Americans particularly get about half the fiber they need every day with our typical diet. Avocados, which provide a good fat source, pack lots of fiber. Other fibrous foods include flax seeds, apples, oranges, almonds, broccoli, raspberries, and cabbage.

Calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone health. Your body loses the ability to collect these naturally as it ages. As you age, take a supplement to offset this problem. Upping your intake of dark leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, milk or fortified plant beverages helps, too.

Vitamin B12 and B6 support red blood cell production and a healthy brain. Reports estimate that some cognitive problems in people over 60 maybe because of vitamin B12 or B6 deficiency. Reduced acid production is again the culprit, interfering with proper absorption from food. Fortified cereals and animal products, including milk and eggs, offer a good source. Supplements bolster the amount for vegetarians and the very elderly.

There’s an app for nutritional help

Eating a balanced diet remains the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. How do you do that? There are several apps to help with meal planning and your diet. Eat This Much provides recipes based on your food preferences and calorie intake. IEatWell measures how healthy you’re eating and gives you a badge for good choices. Fooducate tracks your calories and grades your intake, A for healthy, or F for junky.

A nutritionalist speaks

Meet Tina Tesch-Myers, Nutritionalist, and Rolfer. Tina’s mother was a chef, so she developed a passion for food and nutrition at an early age. Her interest centered on the science of food, and how food affects the organs and your whole body.

What advice does Tina give for nutrition in women over 40? Tina says that as women move beyond 40, our metabolic rates and hormone levels change. We need to be more aware of what we’re eating. Care about what you’re ingesting. Your diet can heal you.

Over the last few years, people have been more aware of their diet and its impact on them. The availability of organic food, gluten intolerance issues, and the impact of GMO food in countries that allow it are important to the mainstream. This is a move in the right direction for our health.

The newest exciting change Tina has come across is DNA designer nutrition. No longer blind nutrition, but targeted for an individual based on their DNA.

The Upshot

We’ve known this for almost 200 years. You are what you eat. In the 21st century, what you eat affects your aging.

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