Eating healthy is important at any age. But it’s particularly crucial as we reach middle age and beyond.
Increased risk of serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease comes with advancing years. But the right diet is one of the best ways to prevent illness as you get older, while helping you look and feel good.
Here are 10 of the best superfoods for people over 50.
- Avocados. Blood pressure tends to rise with age. But the potassium in avocados helps control it. This delicious fruit—actually, a type of berry—is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. They lower inflammation, one of the biggest culprits behind cancer and heart disease.1
- Apples. You know the old apple-a-day cliché. But there’s truth in it, especially as you pass 50. With their flavonoids, apples help head-off high blood pressure and help you maintain good blood glucose levels. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. As with everything, buy organic if you have the choice. And be sure to eat the peel. That’s the part highest in flavonoids.2
- Blueberries. They are dense with nutrients including vitamins, fiber, potassium, copper, and manganese. They also contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps prevent DNA damage. The high vitamin C content helps fight wrinkles, since C is crucial in building collagen.3
- Nuts. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts…nuts in general provide a strong health boost. Eat a handful a day. Besides a variety of vitamins and minerals, you’ll get omega-3s and antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.4
- Greek yogurt. It keeps your digestive system humming along with its high protein and probiotic content. As a bonus, Greek yogurt has less natural sugar and salt than the regular variety. Be sure to get the kind without added sugar.5
- Butternut squash. That orange color means butternut squash is loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is a powerful weapon against the free radicals that can cause serious illness and contribute to aging. It also contains folate, potassium, fiber, and vitamins A,C, and E.6
- Salmon. Another great source of heart-healthy omega-3s, which are also linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, salmon contains potassium and selenium, as well as vitamins B6, B12, and D. Be sure to get wild-caught, not farmed, salmon.7
- Garlic. Garlic contains the chemical allicin, which causes its pungent odor when crushed. But allicin also is an antioxidant and reduces inflammation. Studies show it helps regulate blood pressure and reduces risk of diabetes and atherosclerosis.8
- Carrots. Like butternut squash, carrots are rich in beta-carotene. They are also loaded with the minerals potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. They are a great source of fiber and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B8. Their combined nutritional value means they boost a wide range of things…your eyesight, skin, immune system, digestion, and cardiovascular system. They also are known to help ward off breast and colon cancer.9
- Dark chocolate. A delicious treat that also has specific benefits for the aging body. It contains polyphenols and flavonoids—more than even wine and tea. These compounds fight cancer and heart disease. Studies have linked dark chocolate with improved cognitive ability and better blood pressure and glucose levels. Eat dark chocolate in moderation—too much could be fattening. And make sure it has at least 60% cacao beans. The higher the cacao content, the better.10
Editor’s Note: The symptoms of aging are just like any others. They can be treated or eliminated. Go here to discover specific ways you can stop the clock.