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Good Health at every decade

Published:Monday | April 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Good health at every decade

Adjusting your diet is never an easy thing to do. Sometimes we develop bad eating habits that are hard to get rid of as we age. What works in your 20s will not necessarily work for you in your 30s, 40s, and beyond.

While a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables is important at every age, there are still some changes we need to make as we get older.

In your 20s

At this age, you are more active and require a lot more energy. During this age, we are relatively healthy, but also susceptible to developing poor eating habits.

Some persons are at college at this age and their first meal is sometimes at noon, and as we burn the midnight oil, we may snack. Research has shown that eating every three hours will maintain optimal metabolic efficiency.

In Feanny's detox programme, she advises her clients to eliminate the consumption of the 'bad boys' which include fast foods, caffeine, and alcohol among others, and eat right for energy.

Caffeine works when you want to stay up late to study, but the fact is that caffeine causes the body to excrete calcium, which you need for bone density. Consuming herbal tea and green tea with little or no sugar is your best bet.

You may not notice or feel the damage at this age, but these bad habits may come back to haunt you, so start off right.

In your 30s

Research has shown that as you age, your metabolism slows down, and you may find it hard to maintain a healthy weight.

To boost your metabolism, green teas are known to rev up your metabolism for a few hours. Also try to incorporate more fish into your diet- it's a great source of protein, and will burn twice as many calories as digesting fat or carbohydrates.

If you are tired from balancing your children and a demanding career, protein should be your best friend. Try to enhance your energy by incorporating black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas into your diet. Feanny also stressed that nutrients can be restored, especially after they have been depleted during pregnancy, with nutrient-dense healthy fats like almonds, flaxseed oil, olives, and sesame and sunflower seeds.

In your 40s

As women approach menopause, oestrogen levels start to decline and you become more prone to water retention. Your metabolic efficiency will continue to decline.

As you go through these hormonal changes, it's important to properly metabolise hormones such oestrogen to help prevent certain cancers. Feanny encourages adding ground flaxseed and apples to your diet.

Make sure your diet includes proteins such as bean, lentils and wild fish.

Avoid crash dieting. At this age, the body loses some of its elasticity and will not recover as well from constantly losing and gaining weight.

In your 50s

At this age, your risk for disease increases. Being mindful of your diet can help keep you healthy.

Your heart needs special care at this age. Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins play a key role in a healthy heart. Wild fish, soybeans, whole grains, and broccoli should also be incorporated into your diet. Your body is also slowing down, so keep it strong with cancer-fighting antioxidants found in berries and beans.

In your 60s +

It is said that at this age is when we reap the benefits of a life well lived. Nonetheless it's not too late to start.

Instead of having three large meals, have five smaller meals. This keeps your metabolism from being overworked. Increase your intake of Vitamin C and E which are shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer's.

You can strengthen your immune system with wild salmon, vitamin D supplements.

Reference: Health extract 'You are what you eat' by Lauren Cohen and an article published in 2014 about Sharon Feanny's detox session.