A few years ago, you might not have been concerned with cancer, heart disease, diabetes or stroke, but after 40, the risk for these conditions jumps considerably. Cancer is the number one killer in women in their 40s and 50s, with heart disease coming in at number two. Stroke and diabetes come onto the scene in your 50s and 60s.
You can blame a slower metabolism and changing hormones for these conditions. If you’re on the same diet you were on in your 20s and 30s, you could be heading for trouble. Just like changing your sleep habits and increasing your water intake are important to your health, so is incorporating more healthy foods into your diet.
Adding some or all of the following foods to your diet, even better, replacing some of your current less-than-healthy foods, can fend off these health risks and encourage a longer lifespan.
While all beans are great sources of fibre, lentils and split peas are powerhouses. Aid digestion by eating fibre-rich foods.
Along with antioxidant beta-carotene, lycopene is proving to be a powerful cancer-fighter. Red-hued vegetables like red bell peppers, tomatoes, papaya, pink guava, watermelon, and tomatoes are all good sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes, rather than eating them raw, may aid in the absorption of these powerful antioxidants.
All nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, something we should all be consuming more and more as we age. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce the risk of diabetes.
Sliced, diced or served up as guacamole, avocados are another great course of healthy fats. This micro-nutrient is not only a great source of good heart-healthy fats, but they also help to stifle hunger. Toss it in your salad, spread some on toast, add it to your egg salad or sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy the benefits of this amazing fruit.
Olives and olive oil
Plant-based oils are another great source of polyunsaturated fats and could lower the risk of diabetes. While soybean and sunflower oils are also beneficial, olive oil should be your first choice.
A source of omega fatty acids, salmon is not only great for brain development, it’s important to consume it for brain health as we age. It’s also known for reducing the risk of heart disease. While it’s true that most types of fish are just as healthy, salmon packs a punch and is loaded with essential fatty acids.
There’s a reason this leafy green vegetable is so popular these days. Kale is loaded with alpha-lipoic acid, which is an antioxidant that aids in turning glucose into energy and helps to regulate blood sugar. Research shows that kale can also reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, glaucoma, and other diseases. Add it to smoothies, salads or omelettes.
Begin by incrementally replacing some of your less healthy foods with these suggestions. Incorporating these 7 foods will help fend off disease and make you feel better about your food choices.
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