While you may still have the same chocolate cravings in your 40s as you had when you were in your teens, your nutritional needs change with each passing decade. The way your body changes over the years influences how you should be eating.
Here are our top nutrition tips for your 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Nutrition and Health Tips for your 20s
Your twenties can be a hectic time, from entering the workforce and making new friends, to navigating new relationships and living situations. During stressful times, healthy eating is often the first thing to go. Fast food can be convenient but eating healthily doesn’t mean you need to slave over the stove; MACROS makes it easy to eat well without the meal prep.
- Watch your alcohol intake and be wary of recreational drug usage
- Start getting regular health checks
- Seek help if you’re experiencing prolonged periods of stress or tension
- Aim to create a good nutritional foundation during your 20s by consuming balanced meals.
- Protein: aim for a minimum of 0.8g protein per kg of body weight. Get your protein from lean chicken, turkey, tofu, leak steak, fish, eggs, and beans.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: these polyunsaturated fats aid in boosting your serotonin levels (the feel-good ‘happy’ chemical). A lack of serotonin has been linked to depression; get your omega-3 fatty acids from chia seeds, hemp seeds, salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
- Ensure you’re eating a balance of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and other low GI carbs, healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds), and protein sources.
Nutrition and Health Tips for your 30s
Things often start to get more serious in your thirties. With increased responsibilities comes increased stress, which shouldn’t be brushed aside. Your thirties are also when signs of an unhealthy lifestyle may start to show in the form of diabetes or hypertension.
- If fertility is something you’re concerned about, it’s best to cut down on your alcohol consumption. Both men and women should look to increase their intake of zinc, folate, and vitamin C.
- B vitamins: support a healthy state of mind and maintain good energy levels by ensuring your B vitamin intake is adequate. Try upping your consumption of whole grains, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, eggs, chicken, fish, lean red meat, and seafood.
- Iron: a lack of dietary iron can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained. Get your daily dose of iron by consuming fortified cereals and non-dairy milk, lean red meat, pumpkin seeds, skinless chicken, and dark leafy green vegetables. Ensure you’re getting regular blood tests done and potentially consider taking an iron supplement (in consultation with your healthcare professional).
- Phytonutrients: these antioxidant containing compounds aid in slowing down the ageing process and can be cardioprotective. Treat yourself to some coffee, red wine, or dark chocolate (in moderation).
Nutrition and Health Tips for your 40s
Your forties are a time of great physical change; menopause for women and a reduction in testosterone for men (your testosterone levels decrease by 1% every four years after age 30). Focus on maintaining (or achieving a healthy weight), incorporating strength training into your regime to slow the loss of muscle mass, and continuing to ger regular health checks.
- If you’re overweight, ensure you get your cholesterol levels checked by a healthcare professional regularly. Also, consider trying to lose excess weight through a controlled diet and a combination of strength training and cardio; MACROS weight loss meals contain under 350kcals per serving to ensure weight loss is easy and delicious.
- Men should start getting prostate checks in their mid to late forties.
- For every decade after age 40, there’s around a 1% decrease in your caloric requirements (e.g. someone who required 2000 calories in their thirties, will only require 1800 calories in their forties).
- Calcium: women should prioritise their calcium intake – as your estrogen levels start to decline, calcium levels become more important. Aim for at least 1000mg of calcium per day from yoghurt, tofu, fortified non-dairy milk, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
- Men should look after their prostate health by consuming food rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein. Try upping your intake of tomatoes, carrots, cherries, spinach, melon, egg yolk and sweet potato.
- Fibre: important at any age, fibre plays an increasingly important role in your forties. Fibre aids in reducing cholesterol and the risk of colon cancer, as well as managing appetite, energy labels, and weight. Fibre is found in grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
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