How to Feel Your Best Over Fifty
As I get older, foods to help women age gracefully is a topic that is near and dear to my heart! I have lots of information on what to eat to feel your best, maintain our youthful glow, fight chronic disease and feel our best.
I that I hope that you find this post helpful. It also includes some links to some recipes on my other places to my blog and the end of the post, I have a brand new recipe for Apple Blueberry Tofu and Kale Salad!
This post is for ladies only (and for men who want to better understand the women in their life and help them be healthier!:)
First let’s start off with some of the main health and aging concerns that women over 50 (and even women who are younger) have:
Health Concerns for Women:
- Having a healthy heart
- Maintaining healthy youthful skin
- Balancing a hormone balance
- Preventing cancer
- Keeping bones strong and preventing bone loss
- Retaining a healthy memory and brain health
- Nurturing a healthy relationship with food and our bodies
10 Healthy Foods for Women Over 50
For over 25 years, I have provided nutrition counseling for women of all ages. Each of them wanted to know what to eat to feel the best they can and to stay healthy.
So today, I wanted to share a list of 10 amazing foods for women’s health (although there are many more foods that help our health than this short list.
Foods for Healthy Aging
- Your daily greens including kale, collards, arugula, spinach and green leafy lettuce. Health benefits from these include that they are high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for eye health. They also are rich in calcium, beta carotene a powerful antioxidant and iron.
- Bright purple berries including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and even strawberries. These beautiful purple foods promote brain health and helps reduce inflammation in the body which prevents other chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- Fermented dairy with healthy probiotics for gut health including yogurt, kefir and live cultured buttermilk. These foods are a great source of protein, calcium and riboflavin which is a B vitamin needed for good health.
- Beans/Soy have great anti inflammatory benefits that help prevent and manage chronic diseases, autoimmune conditions and promote digestive wellness. Bring on the chickpeas, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, navy/Great Northern beans, soy beans and all those other ones! Protein is an important food to get adequate amount to build and repair muscle mass and organs.
- Include some healthy fat like nuts, seeds, olive oil, omega 3 rich foods and fatty fish like salmon and trout. Limit fats that can increase inflammation in the body like saturated, trans and an excess ratio of omega 6 to 3. Here is a blog post a little about the balance of omega 3 and 6 fats. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio
- Add cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. These foods provide cancer fighting benefits, reduce inflammation in the body and have lots of beneficial antioxidants.
- Whole grains like oats, millet, brown rice provide fiber, B vitamins and selenium provide protein and fiber in addition to beneficial B vitamins.
- There is a reason why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain beneficial flavonoids, antioxidants and a phytochemical called quercetin. All of these help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. For more about apples check out this research article which is full of great information.
- Bright orange and yellow foods rich in antioxidants like beta carotene. Foods included are sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash and other root vegetables. They help body build collagen and promotes mouth and gum health. It also helps boost immunity.
- Soy and other foods that help balance healthy hormones in our body.
Recently, my cousin, Cat asked me to write about the benefits of tempeh and its benefits to women’s health. I shared with her that I had this post on my desk and that I would finally finish it so I could share it with all of you. Here are some recipes from some of my previous blog posts for using tempeh.
Below are 17 of my previous posts including recipes using tempeh, hempeh (read more about this product made by Smiling Hara right here in the Appalachian Mountains) and tofu. You can use these whole soy foods interchangeably in recipes if you like. And check out my latest recipe Apple Blueberry Tofu and Kale Salad at the end of today’s blog post!
Barbecue Tempeh Open Faced Sandwich with Slaw
Raspberry Habanero Hempeh Tacos
Lots of Breakfast Recipes Using Soy. Can also use for lunch and supper!
Colorful Tempeh Breakfast Scramble
Savory Tofu Cherry Pecan Green Salad
Apple Cider Glazed Tempeh
Wild Blueberry Veggie Bowl
Two Protein Bowls: One Containing tempeh and one with tofu.
Mushroom and Tempeh Lo Mein (and another recipe not including soy with polenta and roasted vegetables in this post!)
Stir Fries with Tempeh or Tofu
Grilled Tofu Fajitas
Curried Tofu Salad with Pecans and Cherries
Blueberry Hempeh Kale Salad
Caribbean Low Fodmap Tacos
Tempeh Pecan Sausage
Avocado Tempeh Tartines
When it comes to soy foods, the benefits and the controversies pop up and many people have concerns and feel concerned. Some of the questions include:
Can soy foods to help with hot flashes, can soy help with hot flashes?
Do soy foods increase the risk of cancer?
How can soy benefit women with perimenopause, menopause and post menopause?
What are the concerns for men and soy?
Does soy interfere with fertility?
How does soy affect thyroid health?
Here is a great pod cast discussing the topic of soy and health on fellow registered dietitian, Mary Purdy’s post cast as she talks with registered dietitian Whitney English. Check out Whitney’s series on soy on you tube also which are included in Mary’s post.
Additional Foods to Help Balance Our Hormones
Doing research for this post I found a great article on even more foods that help balance our hormones and help prevent chronic disease. I hope that you find it as helpful as I did! It gives me even more reasons to eat avocados, flax, broccoli, pomegranates, salmon, leafy greens, nuts, soy, turmeric and quinoa. Foods that help balance our hormones.
Here is my new salad recipe, I hope that you enjoy making it and eating it. You can add frozen blueberries instead of fresh if you prefer.
Apple Blueberry Tofu & Kale Salad
This salad contains lots of foods that I shared that are beneficial for women’s health which include apples, blueberries, soy, a cruciferous vegetable, walnuts and a yogurt dressing. That is six out of the ten that I mentioned!
Makes 2 servings (but double it to easily make 4 or have for the next day)
1 apple chopped in large pieces (I like a tart apple like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Use a smaller serving if apples are one of your trigger foods with IBS)
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
3-4 cups of baby kale or you can massage and remove large stems of large kale leaves
1 package of firm tofu (use half of the box to make the two salads)
Lime Cilantro Yogurt Salad Dressing
Bake tofu according to the Farfalle recipe above (but use lime juice and chili powder for the seasonings.
Lime Cilantro Yogurt Salad Dressing
1/2 cup yogurt (use lactose free if are sensitive to lactose)
1 lime squeezed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place ingredients in blender and blend until mixed well.
To construct the salad, fill bowls with baby kale, add blueberries and apples. Sprinkle with walnuts and arrange baked tofu on top. Drizzle with salad dressing.
Women’s Nutrition Plan
As a registered dietitian nutritionist living in Asheville NC, I love providing nutrition counseling for women over fifty and sharing with them my tips for healthy aging. We are what we eat and what we eat can help us feel healthier and maybe even younger and happier! Schedule an appointment and we can talk about how to feel your best after 50 and beyond!