What To Eat When You Hit 50

Worried about hitting the big milestone of 50 years? But, a healthy and balanced diet can help. Remember, you can always maintain good health by eating right.

By Monali Bordoloi

What To Eat When You Hit 50

Mr and Mrs Bharadwaj are both in their late 50s. Both are fit and healthy. With their kids all grown up and well-settled in their own lives, the couple try to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and timely eating. People often complement them on their health, their glowing skin and healthy hair. They also ask them to share the secret behind their healthy body and youthful looks.

You too can follow their example. For, the secret to Bharadwaj’s health and happiness lies in their balanced diet which is suitable for people above the age of 50. We all know our dietary needs change as we age. Also, it is different for a man and a woman. Specific diets should also consider any medical condition of the person.

In your 50's, maintaining weight and taking care of overall health is of prime importance. You should also take care so that you don’t have to deal with major illness or injury at this stage.

It is important to note that many hormonal changes occur when you are in your 50’s and it will have a huge impact on your nutritional requirements. So, once you hit the age of 50, pay special attention to eating certain foods for nutrients and exercise regularly.

Diet for a 50 plus woman:

As they reach menopause at this stage, women at 50 face a decrease in estrogen and progesterone level. Bone mass in women will also decline due to drop in hormones, which is why a woman’s need for protein, calcium, and vitamin D increase at age 50 and beyond.

Priya Kathpal, a renowned nutritionist and fitness expert says, “Once you cross the age of 50, women should include salads regularly, especially the greens. This has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, after the age of 50, consider adding a multivitamin in your diet to improve your immunity.”

She adds, “A person aged 50 and above should take good care of his gut. This can be done by adding yoghurt to your daily diet. Good bacteria from yoghurt keep the gut health and goes a long way in keeping you healthy.”

“Women above 50 should make sure they are consuming enough vitamin D and calcium. Intake of fibre and focus on plant-based diets will help them get antioxidants that play an important role in keeping the overall stress on body low," says Priya.

For a radiant skin and healthy hair after 50, Priya advises consuming good quality fats which is essential to maintain skin and hair health. It also helps maintain the hormonal balance.”

Diet for a 50 plus man:

A man after the age of 50 should be more careful of their dietary intake as during this stage many lifestyles diseases set in. She says, “Above 50 men should consume a limited amount of protein-rich foods like lean meats, beans and eggs. This will help them in maintaining the muscle mass. Since metabolism after 50 decreases, try to eat small frequent meals, it will help you to keep digestive issues at bay.”

To maintain a healthy lifestyle after 50, get into a routine that includes regular activities. Try to reduce anxiety and stress from life as much as possible. Meditation helps in reducing stress. Focus on a protein-rich diet, which will help maintain the muscle mass and strength. Hydration should also be considered as a crucial aspect of a healthy life after 50.

Few quick tips to eat right as you age:

  1. Don’t forget to include calcium in your diet, seniors need more calcium to protect bones. Low-fat dairy products are one example of calcium-rich food. Consult your doctor if you want to start taking a calcium supplement, along with vitamin D, as both are required for bone building.
  2. Eat proteins like egg whites as it repairs worn-out cells and tissues. Vegetarians can opt for paneer. 
  3. Seasonal fruits should be an important part of senior’s diet. The antioxidants present in fruits keep the body healthy and help in easing constipation.
  4. Include oats in your daily diet whether in breakfast as porridge or as masala oats. It will keep your heart healthy.
  5. Seniors can opt for vegetable soups either as dinner or in between meals. Of course, without cream and thickening agents.
  6. Always carry your own water bottle when you go out of the home. Drink as much water as you can, don’t wait till you feel thirsty. As you age, density in muscles reduces and you are more likely to be dehydrated quickly. More so in summer.

With inputs from Priya Kathpal, Priya is a nutritionist and founder of Nutrify.

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