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If you are 40 or over, it’s no surprise to you that your body is changing. Inside and outside. Our needs change. Here are some nutrition tips for women over 40. While this post is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, all opinions and my desire for aging gracefully are 100% my own.
Women are like fine wine and just get better as we age, however, as we age the needs of our bodies change a bit. This is particularly true when it comes to nutrition. Nutrition is more important than ever for women in their 40s. Let’s talk about the nutritional needs of women in their 40s and beyond.
Starting in our 40s women lose approximately 8% of their muscle each decade, but you can minimize this with a great workout routine and good nutrition. Including plenty of protein in your diet and strength training exercises can help you build and preserve your muscle mass instead of losing it.
If you haven’t gotten serious about your diet and nutritional needs before now, your 40s is the time to start. The healthy choices you make now in your 40s can prevent diseases and health problems as you get older. A healthy diet should include protein (more on that in a minute), lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and carbohydrates from whole grains.
In your 40’s your estrogen levels begin to decrease and so do your thyroid levels. As a result, you may find that you feel hungrier so it’s important to eat healthy foods filled with fiber and protein to give you energy and keep you full. Your metabolism can slow down at this age causing you to gain weight, but you can give it a boost by drinking ice water, eating spicy foods, exercising, eating breakfast every day, and getting plenty of sleep.
We’ve already talked about the importance of getting plenty of protein in your diet to prevent a loss of muscle mass. Protein also helps to give you the energy you need to get through your busy days.
Protein shakes are a handy way to get the protein you need even on your busiest days. You can quickly make a smoothie and add protein powder, or pop one of your favorite protein shakes in your purse and take it on the go with you. With protein shakes, there is absolutely no excuse for skipping meals. Protein shakes are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a filling snack.
You all know how much I love protein smoothies and shakes…they are the easiest way to start your day with a healthy dose of fruits, veggies and protein! That’s a win-win-win in my book.
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body, but as we age our natural collagen production begins to slow down. This slowed production becomes more visible in our 40’s with sagging skin, wrinkles, fine lines, and less elasticity. Don’t fret though because there is something you can do about this part of the aging process.
You can start taking collagen at any age, but if you haven’t started taking it before turning 40, now is the time. Collagen is very important for the health of your skin and your bones, and it is easy to add to your diet. Collagen peptides, which are collagen that has already been broken down so that it’s easier for your body to absorb and use.
Collagen comes in many different forms including powder, pills, and liquid and it is considered a dietary supplement. This makes it very easy to include in your diet. You can just pop a pill in the morning with your coffee, or add the powder or liquid to a smoothie or drink. You won’t notice a difference when taking collagen immediately but you will see the improvement in your skin over time. Taking collagen daily will leave your skin more hydrated, and looking and feeling younger.
Gut health is a term that you hear thrown around a lot these days, and having a healthy gut is important, but what is a healthy gut and how do you get one in your 40s and beyond? Your digestive system is filled with trillions of bacteria, which while it sounds icky, is actually a good thing.
As you age your digestive system slows down and becomes a little less efficient, and the secretions in your stomach and intestines decrease. All of these things can lead to a gut that isn’t so healthy which can cause you to gain weight, feel bloated, and just sluggish overall.
Not to worry though because you can improve your gut health at any age by making a few simple changes to your diet. Probiotics are live organisms that improve the health and efficiency of your gut. You can take them as a supplement and they are also found in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha.
In addition to adding a probiotic supplement or probiotic foods to your diet, there are a few other things that you can do to improve the health of your gut no matter how old you are. These include drinking more water, exercising daily, getting quality sleep at night, and adding some avocados to your diet. This one might sound strange, but studies have shown that eating avocados diversifies your gut bacteria. The more diverse your gut bacteria is the healthier your gut is overall.
Increasing your protein intake and adding collagen and probiotics or fermented foods to your diet are all simple steps that you can take to improve your health in your 40s and beyond. It is NEVER too late to start improving your health and your future (younger-looking) self will thank you!