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NOURISH

Age well with these seven nutrition tips

As you age, your digestive system may slow down and you may lose lean body mass and experience insulin resistance. All these translate into a lower metabolic rate, creating a tendency to gain weight more quickly. This is especially true for women going through menopause

The solution is simple, yet challenging: To combat metabolic changes associated with aging, you should reduce the calories you eat and increase exercise. Here are some tips for eating healthy as you age.

Eat your fruits and vegetables 
Plants contain so many vitamins, nutrients, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and complex carbohydrates that it's impossible to replicate their benefits with supplements. For example, celery is one of the most powerful detoxifying foods you can eat. Cabbage, onions, garlic, ginger, oregano, cinnamon and turmeric also have antioxidant properties. Add them into your diet whenever you can.

Take supplements only as needed
Vitamin supplements have a purpose if you are low in certain areas such as calcium, zinc or magnesium. However, supplements should be used as a bridge and support a healthy diet, not be used as a replacement.

Try something new
Think you hate beets or Brussels sprouts? Have you tried them since you were a kid? What you hated to eat when you were 10 years old may taste delicious to you now. If that doesn't quite convince you, try a new recipe or cooking technique. Roasting beets, Brussel sprouts, even radishes, can bring out these veggies' sweet sides. Try adding them to a stir fry or a soup. Some other veggies with bad raps you might want to give a try as an adult include: green beans, peas, leeks, scallions, cabbage, kale, eggplant, bok choy and endive. 

Make every calorie count
Smaller portions of nutrient-dense foods are important as we age. When you eat foods high in nutrients compared to calorie count, it ensures that you get the nutrients needed to keep your body functioning at its full potential. A diet of mostly vegetables and legumes prepared with healthy fats, herbs and spices is a good place to start.

Stay hydrated
Water is the most important nutrient. Drinking plenty of water every day reduces stress on your kidneys and makes them work properly. Water also aids digestion and helps reduce blood clots.

Plan ahead
Think of your meals as a work of art. Consider your food choices for color, texture and balance. A little time spent planning and preparing meals will pay off as you age.

Eat healthy on a budget
The good news is that many healthy foods aren't very expensive. Try cooking with dried beans and legumes. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, which are a nutritious alternative to fresh during the off-season. And, be green: save and freeze your vegetable peels and ends, meat and poultry bones, to make homemade soup stocks and broths.

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