As we reach our 50s it is natural that our body ages and will change physically. Our muscles, bones and joints may feel a little different and this is perfectly normal. All this means is that we may need to make some lifestyle changes to help keep us in shape. For the over 50s, balanced nutrition and regular physical activity are essential for good health. In fact, this is true for all ages.
Healthy living is closely linked to a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity paired with wise food choices. Good nutrition and regular exercise work better to slow down health issues when both are a routine part of life. The right intake of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and protein are essential for normal body functions.
Eating a variety of whole foods is recommended, yet it is not always easy to have a balanced diet. Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C and protein, are all key nutrients for the over 50s and are essential for the maintenance of good muscle, bone and joint health.
The following nutrients play an important role in helping people over 50 to continue to perform at their best:
- Certain vitamins for women and men are important for the body to contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. For example, vitamins B2, B6 and B12
- Proteins in the body contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. The over 50s need more dietary protein than younger adults.
- Vitamin D and calcium are essential nutrients for bone health.
- Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal functioning of cartilage. Cartilage is a key component of joints. Together, muscles, bones and cartilage play a key role in daily activities.
- Adequate fluid intake is needed. Water is involved in virtually every metabolic process. By drinking water you contribute to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions. Adequate hydration supports good physical and mental performance.
- The World Health Organization encourages people to consume at least 25g per day of dietary fibre (that’s equivalent to 6 large apples or 3 cups of raspberries or 3 cups of blueberries or 2 cups of cooked beans or lentils)