The Best Foods to Eat as You Get Older

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As your body grows, your dietary requirements change.

I worry sometimes that I take my youthful metabolism for granted. My stomach is like a blast furnace, capable of processing and utilizing just about anything I throw at it, barring stuff I’m allergic to. I know in my heart (and cholesterol), however, that it isn’t gonna stay that way. When I’m middle-aged, there’s no way I’m going to be able to eat the same way that I did as a kid. It stinks, but as you get older, not only does your body have more difficulty processing certain kinds of foods, but it also has a greater need of certain kinds of nutrients.

For one thing, as you get older, your bones lose some of their density, which is what eventually leads to conditions like arthritis. To keep those bones strong, you need a steady intake of calcium. If you’re one of the lucky ones who aren’t lactose intolerant, you can get some calcium from dairy products, but those tend to come with a lot of added fat. Ergo, the best source of clean-burning calcium is dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Speaking of fatty foods, you probably won’t be able to tolerate as much red meat as you get older. In its stead, you should consider acquiring a taste for seafood; it’s a much cleaner source of protein without all the heart-related risks. Speaking of your heart, some extra berries like blueberries, raspberries, and cherries wouldn’t go amiss either, as they provide both heart-helping antioxidants and stomach-regulating fiber. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to end up with a fiber deficiency. It’s not fun.

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Finally, though it may seem obvious, you should endeavor to drink a lot more water. As you get older, your body’s natural sense of thirst gets a little wonky; sometimes you think your hungry when you’re actually thirsty, and sometimes you just forget to drink water entirely. Remember to keep up a steady intake of water throughout the day, even if you’re not overtly thirsty. You might need to use the bathroom more, but hey, regularity is a good thing, especially when you’re past 50.