Eating More of the Best Food as You Get Older

### The Importance of Nutrition as We Age

As we move through different stages of life, our bodies undergo changes that require adjustments in our diets. The foods we consume play a crucial role in not only providing energy but also in disease prevention. Kimberly Gomer, a registered dietitian, emphasizes the significance of an anti-inflammatory diet to maintain physical and mental health as we age.

### Key Foods for Healthy Aging

One food that stands out for its health benefits as we age is high-quality fatty protein, such as salmon. Dr. Kevin Cooke highlights the importance of including fatty fish in our diet to boost omega-3 intake, supporting brain health and reducing inflammation. Additionally, protein is essential for muscle maintenance, while healthy fats are crucial for hormone balance and cognitive function.

### Other Nutrient-Rich Foods to Consider

In addition to salmon, leafy greens like kale and spinach are recommended for their antioxidant properties and B vitamins that support brain function. Pomegranates are also praised for their antioxidant content and ability to combat oxidative damage associated with aging. These foods, along with sources of high-quality protein, can help meet the nutritional needs of older adults.

### Gender-Specific Nutritional Needs

Men and women have different nutritional requirements as they age. Men require higher protein intake to maintain muscle mass, while zinc is essential for prostate health and immune function. For women, calcium and vitamin D are crucial for bone health, especially post-menopause. Folate and phytoestrogens found in soy products are also important for cognitive and cardiovascular health in women.

### The Role of Supplements

While supplements can be beneficial in filling nutritional gaps, it is important to prioritize a food-first approach. Gomer suggests using supplements only when a known deficiency is present, after proper lab testing and dosage determination. For example, vitamin D deficiency may require supplementation due to its limited availability in diet alone.

Nutrition plays a vital role in healthy aging, and incorporating nutrient-rich foods like salmon, leafy greens, and pomegranates can support overall well-being as we navigate different stages of life.

Original Story at www.huffpost.com – 2024-07-05 07:00:41

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