Women over 40 enjoying lunch

Nutrition Tips for Women in their 40s

Both your nutritional needs and your metabolism change once you get into your fourth decade on this earth. Your metabolism gets slower – especially women, who lose about half a pound of muscle per year after turning 40. This makes losing weight even more difficult and it is common for some women to experience these changes as a result of a decrease in hormones, reduction of activity level, and newly diagnosed medical conditions.

What you eat is even more important as you enter your 40s. Women need protein (meat, fish, dairy, beans, and nuts), carbohydrates (whole grains), fats (healthy oils), vitamins, minerals, and water. These foods have been linked to some disease prevention, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports the development of healthy food supply chains in supplemental nutrition programs so as to broaden the availability of healthy food.

If you haven’t gotten serious about your nutrition by the time you are 40, it’s time to start.

  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Half of the grains you eat should be whole grains.
  • Stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy and dairy products.
  • Eat lean, healthy protein at every (eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds).
  • Cook with healthy oils, like olive avocado oil.

Overall, calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C are very important nutrients to add into your diet. After 40, your hormone levels (estrogen) drop and this causes your insulin rise. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar. Your thyroid levels go down and this combination makes your hungrier. And because this is happening, you are more likely to end up overeating. It gets worse because much of the weight gain will occur around your belly. Eating more foods with fiber to fill you up and help you avoid mindlessly eat. Try to get around 25 grams of fiber each day if you are in your 40s and increase your metabolism by:

  • Eating breakfast.
  • Exercising.
  • Drinking water.
  • Sleeping better.
  • Eating spicy food.

Turning 40 is a milestone – one that can come with an increased risk of many health risks. With demanding jobs, children, and aging parents, it’s so easy to put your own health aside. But, 40 should be the time where you reevaluate your wellbeing and take hold of your health. It could make a difference for when you get even older. Here’s a few things you should keep an eye out for in this new decade:

  • Your vision can start to get worse, so have your eyes regularly checked.
  • Make sure to look into your numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body weight.
  • Take a careful look at your family tree and get an idea of your genetics, which can increase your risk for diseases like breast cancer or heart disease.
  • At 40, we lose around 1% of muscle mass each year. Try incorporating weight-bearing exercises, along with cardio, into a weekly physical activity plan.
  • Your metabolism slows around age 40, which means you don’t need to eat a lot for a health boost. Make sure to get adequate fiber and fluids.
  • 40 is the decade you should reevaluate your lifestyle: exercise regularly, reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet with your brain and heart in mind.
  • If you’re in your 40s and still smoking, it’s time to stop! By quitting, you will decrease the chances of heart attacks and heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and of course, lung cancer and lung disease.
  • Getting your thyroid tested to make sure that it is functioning properly could help those of us who feel worn out and feel like they’re gaining unexpected weight, or even who’s hair and skin seems to lack luster.

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