The nutrients our body craves change as we age, which means, what fueled us at 20 won't necessarily do the trick at 50. So, here are some age-appropriate foods that’ll improve our physical and mental health over our lifetime:
The food fix for our 20's: Wild salmon. Studies show that the rate of depression is highest among young adults. But Ruth Frenchman, who wrote, The Food is My Friend Diet, says the Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help stabilize our mood by raising levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
What’s on the menu for our 30’s? Spinach and eggs. Once we hit 30, we’re more likely to gain weight. And a breakfast of eggs and spinach is low in calories and high in protein, which keeps us feeling full longer, and stops sugar cravings. They’re also crucial for women of childbearing years, because they contain a compound called choline, which helps babies' brains develop, and folate, which helps prevent birth defects.
Once we hit 40: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are our go-to foods. Those vegetables are high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol. Plus, they contain a compound that neutralizes cancer-causing substances. 40-somethings also need iron to keep their energy up, so have lean red meat once a week, plus other sources of iron, like shrimp, pumpkin seeds, or fortified cereals. Iron helps our bodies make red blood cells and supply oxygen to the body, which keeps energy levels up.
When we reach 50, we need to eat more yogurt. People in their 50s who get 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day will have enough bone strength to make sure they’re still active during their golden years.
And for anyone over 60: Beans are an important food. That’s because they’re high in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and decreases the risk of heart disease.