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#MenoWellness: How does our daily food intake affect AGEING?

Updated: Sep 29, 2023


Scared of the effects of ageing? Well, who isn't?


While it may be a natural and inevitable part of life, it comes with many changes that we perceive as negative. However, there are ways to slow it down, and the best method is by watching what we eat. Yes, I am talking about our diets: they make a VER BIG difference!


Locally in Singapore, our hawker foods all border on dangerously unhealthy levels. Chock full of oil and lacking in healthier ingredients, it is no wonder that older Singaporeans are suffering from the effects of having a bad diet. But what foods should we eat then, to combat the deleterious effects of growing old?


In this article, we will explore four main points on how our dietary habits influence the aging process and offer insights into making healthier choices for #MenoWellness.


Read on to find out!


Antioxidants: The Magic Compound


Antioxidants have often been called the "magic compound" as they combat inflammation in our bodies just by being consumed. They can be found in various foods that help neutralize harmful inflammatory substances in our bodies.


By incorporating a diet rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium, we can potentially slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.


Be sure to lookout for our future article covering antioxidant rich foods and their benefits!


Inflammatory Foods can worsen Ageing!


Did you know that chronic inflammation has been linked to several age-related conditions?


They are inclusive of, but not limited to: heart disease, arthritis, and cognitive decline. As such, it is highly advisable to avoid foods that can cause the said chronic inflammation in our bodies. Also, certain foods such as processed sugars, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats, can worsen inflammation!


This is why understanding the connection between our food choices and inflammatory responses is so important. By making healthier dietary decisions, we can combat the effects of ageing effectively.


The Importance of Hydration


As we age, our bodies' ability to conserve water decreases, making hydration even more critical. Drinking plenty of water can help maintain skin elasticity, aid digestion, and keep joints lubricated.


Gut Health is important too!


During menopause, women experience a drop in estrogen levels, which can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. Here's how you can tweak your diet to help manage these changes:

Here's your daily reminder to take your probiotics! The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining our immune system, nutrient absorption, and overall health. As we age, the diversity and balance of our gut bacteria may decline, leading to various health issues.


This is why a diet that includes probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber-rich foods is important as we age, especially during our menopausal years. Such foods can support a healthy gut microbiome and positively impact the aging process!


Menopause and Nutrition: A Delicate Balance

1. Embrace Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are found in a variety of foods. Here are a few ways to incorporate them into your diet:

  • Breakfast: Start your day with a bowl of soy yogurt topped with flaxseeds and fresh berries.

  • Lunch: Enjoy a tofu stir-fry with a variety of colorful vegetables.

  • Snack: Have a handful of roasted soy nuts or a slice of whole grain bread with a spread of hummus.

  • Dinner: Opt for a lentil curry served with brown rice.

2. Prioritize Protein

Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Here's how you can include lean sources of protein in your meals:

  • Breakfast: Have scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes, or a smoothie made with Greek yogurt and fruits.

  • Lunch: Opt for a grilled chicken salad with a variety of vegetables.

  • Snack: Enjoy a handful of nuts or a cup of cottage cheese with fresh fruits.

  • Dinner: Have a piece of grilled fish with a side of quinoa and steamed vegetables.

3. Boost Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and Vitamin D are crucial for bone health. Here are some ways to get these nutrients:

  • Breakfast: Enjoy a bowl of fortified cereal with milk or a smoothie made with fortified plant-based milk.

  • Lunch: Have a salad with leafy greens like kale and spinach, topped with cheese.

  • Snack: Enjoy a piece of fresh fruit and a yogurt.

  • Dinner: Opt for a salmon fillet, which is high in Vitamin D, with a side of steamed broccoli.

4. Limit Processed Foods and Sugars

Opting for whole foods can help you avoid unnecessary sugars and unhealthy fats. Here's an example of a day's menu:

  • Breakfast: Have a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruits and a drizzle of honey.

  • Lunch: Enjoy a homemade vegetable soup with a side of whole grain bread.

  • Snack: Opt for fresh fruits or raw veggies with a healthy dip like hummus.

  • Dinner: Have a lean protein like chicken or fish, with a side of roasted vegetables and a portion of brown rice.

Remember, these are just examples and can be adjusted according to your personal preferences and dietary needs. Always consult with a healthcare professional or a dietitian for personalized advice.


Looking towards the future...


As we age, our bodies undergo physiological changes that affect nutrient absorption and metabolism. This is inevitable, but there are ways to make our ageing process fulfilling and comfortable too!


As our nutritional requirements shift, we have to continually make dietary adjustments to meet our specific needs. Medical studies have found that older adults require higher levels of certain nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of fractures.


If you are suffering from the effects of ageing and menopause, fear not. Keep a lookout on our website for more articles exploring the nutritional needs to help you tailor your dietary recommendations and ensure better overall health during your aging process!


Remember, the journey to aging gracefully starts on your plate. So, why not start today?



 

Important Note:


This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as medical advice. Always consult a medical professional for specific advice on your health.


This article has not been reviewed by any medical professionals or legal bodies.

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