Foods You Need to Eat More of If You’re Over 40

As you get older, your body doesn’t work as smoothly as it once did. When you turn 40, you may notice your digestive system has slowed a bit. You might see the beginnings of wrinkles, and complications down the road, such as heart disease and dementia, may start to enter your mind. But a big part of combating these age-related issues is eating healthy. Here are 15 foods you should eat more of if you’re over 40.

Blueberries

Blueberries | Eike Leppert/iStock/Getty Images

Blueberries

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. They contain nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, plus electrolytes and other vitamins and minerals. As you get older, your body might not move as easily as it once did. Supplying the body with essential nutrients will help keep everything working properly. Grab a handful of blueberries on the go for a beneficial snack that’s low in calories.

Next: Sprinkle some of this on your oatmeal.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks and powder

Cinnamon | Derkin/Getty Images

Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugar. As you age, you may be at a greater risk of developing diabetes. Sprinkling cinnamon on your food can counteract that risk, according to several studies. If you’re over 40 and are concerned about your diabetes risk, consider adding cinnamon to your oatmeal. But it’s important to know that there are two versions of cinnamon — the more expensive kind is better for your health.

Next: These nuts are tasty and healthy. 

Almonds

Raw almonds spilling out

Raw almonds spilling out | iStock.com/Elenathewise

Almonds are an excellent way of getting protein if you don’t want to eat much meat. Plus, studies suggest they can help lower cholesterol levels, which is important if you’re over 40. High cholesterol is common starting in middle age, and it can lead to serious heart problems. Add some sliced almonds and blueberries to your yogurt each morning for a breakfast that can help you stay healthy as you get older.

Next: Everyone loves the smell of this, but it also has great health benefits. 

Garlic

Garlic cloves and sliced garlic on vintage wooden background.

Garlic | dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images

Garlic is loaded with nutrients, and it also has heart benefits that make it a great add-on to dishes — especially if you’re over 40. Garlic is known to have properties that may help lower blood pressure. It also has been shown to improve cholesterol levels, which is important for keeping your heart in good shape through the later years in life. Studies also suggest garlic’s properties may reduce your dementia risk.

Next: These are an easy breakfast — and a healthy choice. 

Eggs

Devilled eggs on blue plate

Eggs | katyenka/Getty Images

Eggs are a complete protein, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids the body needs. They’re an excellent breakfast choice for their protein and other nutrients. In the past, eggs have been linked to heart problems, but recent studies have disproven those misconceptions, showing no link between eggs and heart disease — so eat up.

Next: This diverse food can be added to sandwiches, salads, and more. 

Avocado

Avocados

Avocados | Ilietus/iStock/Getty Images

Avocados are a great source of protein and contain good fats that keep your body running sharply. They’re packed with nutrients to help keep your heart healthy and your vision strong. Plus, they contain vitamin K, which is great for bone health and may help prevent osteoporosis. Some research suggests they may help prevent certain cancers.

Next: This juicy fruit is guilt free. 

Watermelon

pieces of watermelon

Watermelon | Magone/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to containing plenty of water, watermelon is also packed with necessary nutrients. It contains vitamins A, B6, and C as well as plenty of antioxidants. Plus, it’s a satisfying snack that adds very few calories. It also contains lycopene, which is found in most red-colored fruits and helps maintain good heart and bone health.

Next: This food is good for weight loss and digestion. 

Beets

sliced beetroot

Beets | iStock.com/Dianazh

Beets contain vitamins and minerals that can help boost weight loss and improve digestion due to their low fat and high fiber content. Medical Daily reports that beets may also lower blood pressure because they are high in nitrates. One study found that the effects of beets on blood pressure were greater in men than women, but both genders showed a reduction.

Next: This green is great fresh or cooked. 

Spinach

Fresh spinach

Spinach | iStock.com/dionisvero

Spinach is a vegetable loaded with nutrients. It contains few calories but plenty of vitamins and minerals, which means it’s the perfect veggie to build a tasty salad. It’s very high in fiber, which promotes good digestion. Plus, it contains calcium to promote good bone health. It also has a good amount of vitamins C and K, plus iron. Several studies show it can keep your vision sharp, too.

Next: Many people think this is unhealthy, but it’s just the opposite. 

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil | Dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images

Most people avoid olive oil because it contains a good amount of fat. However, one tablespoon of olive oil contains good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) that can help keep your heart healthy. The healthy fats lower your bad cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease. They may also help keep your blood sugar at safe levels. However, it’s important to use olive in moderation since it is high in calories.

Next: This veggie might prevent dementia. 

Eggplant

eggplant

Eggplant | Bondarillia/Getty Images

Eggplant contains flavonoids that may improve overall heart health. Plus, research shows it may help lower high cholesterol levels. Eggplant skin also contains antioxidants that may help improve your memory and reduce your risk of developing cognitive disorders as you age. Certain antioxidants help blood flow better to the brain, which contributes to overall better cognitive health.

Next: This food is a great source of protein. 

Quinoa

White Quinoa in a bowl

Quinoa | iStock.com/Karisssa

Quinoa is commonly referred to as a grain, but it’s actually wheat free. Quinoa is a complete protein, so it’s an excellent source for those who don’t want to eat meat. It’s a good source of calcium, which means it keeps your bones healthy. Other nutrients, such as fiber and magnesium, and several vitamins make it a delicious and healthy food.

Next: This vegetable has become a great substitute for flour. 

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cauliflower | iStock.com/zeleno

Cauliflower is full of fiber. It helps maintain a regular digestive system, which is important as you get older. It’s very low in calories and contains nutrients that may improve memory. Plus, its vitamin K content helps keep bones strong through adulthood, and since it’s so high in fiber, it may also help improve circulation. This means eating cauliflower may keep your heart healthy for years to come.

Next: Season your dishes with this. 

Black pepper

Glass bottle and Pepper Grinder of black peppercorn

Black pepper | LiptonCNX/Getty Images

If you’re looking to spice up your meal a bit, try black pepper. It stimulates digestion and helps foods break down more easily in your system, which can promote weight loss. Black pepper also stimulates the brain, which is good for cognitive function. Plus, it can even reduce wrinkles, which is all the more reason to add some to your food before eating.

Next: This green food should not be avoided. 

Broccoli

Broccoli in pan on wood kitchen table

Broccoli | phasinphoto/iStock.com/Getty Images

Broccoli may have been the vegetable you hated as a kid, but you should definitely add more to your diet if you’re over 40. It helps build strong bones with its vitamin K content and boosts the immune system with plenty of vitamin C. Plus, it’s another food with plenty of fiber, so you’ll want to include it in some daily meals. Your heart needs potassium to function, and broccoli has plenty of that, too.

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