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Updated by Umbrella Health Care Systems on Oct 22, 2023
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Best Foods as You Age

As you get older, it’s important you continue to eat well. Changes in your body result in lower energy (calorie) requirements. It is therefore important to reduce portion sizes if activity is low, and to cut down on sugary snacks such as cakes and buns.
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1

Fiber

Fiber

Foods that are high in fiber -- like fruits and veggies, oatmeal, nuts, and legumes -- can help with constipation that becomes more common as you age. They're also able to help lower your cholesterol levels, manage your blood sugar, and keep you at a healthy weight. If you're a man who's 51 or older, aim to eat 30 grams of fiber each day. If you're a woman, try for about 21 grams.
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2

Whole Grains

Whole Grains

They're a great source of fiber and rich in B-vitamins, which you'll need more of as you age. B-6 and folate are key to keeping your brain healthy. Even a small shortage can make a subtle difference. Whole grains could also cut your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Don't stop at whole-wheat bread, though. Quinoa, wheat berries, and whole-wheat couscous are tasty options, too.
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3

Nuts

Nuts

Yes, they're small, but tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and pistachios have big anti-aging powers. These crunchy snacks contain special nutrients that can help delay or prevent age-related heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, nerve disease, and some types of cancer. Nuts also protect your brain as you age.
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4

Water

Water

As you go up in years, not only does your body lose water, but your sense of thirst starts to fade. That means it will take you longer to know when you're low on fluids. Water is food for your health in lots of ways. It cushions your joints, helps control your body temperature, and affects your mood and how well you focus. Make eight glasses of water each day your goal.
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5

Fish

Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, herring, and farmed trout should be on your menu twice a week. The reason? They're high in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that's good for your brain. Low levels of DHA have been linked to Alzheimer's disease, but get enough of it, and you may improve your memory and ability to learn new things. If you don't eat or like fish, algae, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds are also good sources of DHA.
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6

Lean Protein

Lean Protein

Protein-rich foods fight the natural muscle loss that happens as you get older. As much as you can, enjoy your protein in "real" food like eggs, lean meat, and dairy products instead of protein powders that may not give you as many nutrients.
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7

Dairy Products

Dairy Products

The calcium in dairy keeps your bones healthy. As you get older, it can also lower your risk of osteoporosis, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. After age 50, you'll need 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day, which you can get through fat-free and low-fat dairy products. Milk and cheese aren't you're only options. You can still hit your calcium goal through things like yogurt, rice and soy drinks, fortified orange juice, and tofu.
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8

Blueberries

Blueberries

They're a tasty way to protect your brain as you age. Blueberries contain polyphenols -- compounds that lower inflammation throughout your body. They lessen damage to your DNA that can make some diseases more likely. They also improve how well your brain cells "talk" to each other. Fresh blueberries are best, since their polyphenol content goes down when you bake them into muffins, breads, or pies.
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9

Red- and Orange-Colored Produce

Red- and Orange-Colored Produce

Watermelon, tomatoes, red and orange bell peppers -- these fruits and veggies are rich in a natural compound called lycopene. Studies show foods that have it could lower your risk of some types of cancer and may protect you against strokes, too.
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Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables

The more candles on your birthday cake, the weaker your immune system -- your body's defense against germs. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower could help shore it up. They have a chemical called sulforaphane that switches on your immune cells so they're better able to attack toxins that damage your cells and cause disease over time. Eat them often, and you may lower your risk of some types of cancer.
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