Geriatric nutrition is all about metabolism and how it slows down as we get older. A decrease in our metabolism can result from a decrease in our muscle mass. And we can place some of the blame on cavemen and cave women. Basically, our spreading waistlines, hips and other body areas are a result of nature’s effort to protect older folks in the wild.
During our ancestral hunter gathering days, nature thought it would be a good idea to help the older folks survive on less food. After all, getting up early in the morning to slay beasts was pretty hard when accompanied by age old aches and pains. A slower metabolism allows the body to be more efficient at storing fat. Great for hunter gatherers spending days foraging for hard to find food. Not so great when a 1,500 calorie meal is easily available at the neighborhood Chili’s.
After we hit our 30s, our metabolism slows down about 5% each decade. At age 35, we’re burning around 100 calories less than at age 25. At 45, we’re now down 200 calories from the age of 35. When we don’t change our diet after 40 and after 50 to account for metabolism slow down, we can easily start gaining 10 to 12 pounds a year.
The best foods for men over 50 are foods that can help you deal with all the changes your body is going through as you grow older. Women go through menopause, but men have their own more subtle changes as they age called andropause. With andropause come slowly decreasing testosterone levels, lower metabolism, an enlarged prostate, and an increased risk for cardiovascular problems and other diseases. These changes can affect your sex life, mood, ability to sleep, concentration, and prostate health.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, radishes, and others are some of the best foods for men over 50. They help prevent bladder cancer and other types of cancer (especially when eaten raw) and they are high in fiber. Eating plenty of fiber is also important to keep your digestive track running regularly.
Nuts are some of the best foods for men over 50 for many reasons. Nuts are good for your heart health, but they also pack other benefits in a tiny space. Almonds can improve your sleep and mood. Brazil nuts are one of the top super foods for prostate health. Walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for muscles, plus the benefits of walnuts in fighting prostate cancer have been demonstrated in studies.Pistachio nuts can help lower cholesterol, protect your heart, and improve erectile function.
Beans and Lentils:
Filled with fiber and protein, beans and lentils make a great meat substitute. Like berries, black beans contain anthocyanins, which are especially good for brain health. Did you know that beans are number 1 on the list of top 10 natural cancer killers? In fact white kidney beans have one of the greatest impacts on cancer cells. A study from Loma Linda University reported that people who ate beans at least three times a week experienced a 33% reduced risk of colon polyps (which often lead to colon cancer).
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Dark green vegetables are good for your brain health and sexual health. Spinach is high in lutein and can even increase blood flow to the penis, helping with erectile function. Green leafy vegetable are high in folate and potassium, plus they are a great nondairy source for calcium, which is good for your bones. Many people do not realize that men are at risk for osteoporosis too. A study reported that that men who ate greater amounts of leafy green vegetables had a 34% reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
Whole grains are high in fiber and protein too. Oatmeal is one of the cholesterol lowering foods high fiber and high in protein. The fiber found in whole grains such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and wheat calms inflamed tissues and keep the colon and heart healthy. Your body digests whole grains more slowly than refined grains. This keeps down bloods sugar and insulin levels, and eating more than 5 grams of fiber from whole-grain cereals each day can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Consider adding quinoa,which is technically a grain-like seed that is a source of complete protein, to your diet of whole grains.
Healthy Spices for Men over 50:
There are spices for your food that are also available in supplement form. Curcumin, which is derived from turmeric, is good for fighting tumors and it has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, prostatitis, and other inflammatory conditions. Cinnamon has many health benefits for aging men as well, including regulating blood sugar lowering cholesterol, helping relieve arthritis pain, and boosting cognitive function and memory. Try sprinkling it on your oatmeal. Garlic is another flavoring for food that is one of the best foods for men over 50 because it can lower risk for BPH, keep you healthy by fighting illness, and prevent several kinds of cancer.
How Much to Eat:
So now you know some of the best foods for men over 50, but you also need to know how much to eat each day. Eating too much can lead to weight gain. Carrying excess weight increases your risk for enlarged prostate and heart disease. It is bad for your joints, and body fat can affect your hormone balance, increasing your estrogen and lowering your testosterone.
How many calories per day do men over 50 need
Not active: about 2,000kcal
Moderately active: 2,200-2,400kcal.
These amounts are a general guideline, but it is not just how much you eat that counts. Exercise is important too. You should strive to get about 30 minutes of exercise per day. You can even do it in short 10-minute increments if you prefer. Choose a variety of exercises that include endurance, balance, flexibility, and strength. Biking, swimming, walking, jogging, weight lifting, taking aerobic classes, doing yoga, etc are all good choices. Find things you love to do and build them into your schedule. You are more likely to do them if you can plan to do them with your partner or friend. An lifestyle that includes regular exercise and all of these best foods for men over 50 will help you slow the aging process and help you enjoy your life. You will feel better, think better, and fight disease better if you give your body the nutrients and tools it needs to work its best.
Live longer and stronger:
Good nutrition keeps muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong for the long haul. Eating vitamin-rich food boosts immunity and fights illness-causing toxins. A proper diet reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, cancer, and anemia. Also, eating sensibly means consuming fewer calories and more nutrient-dense foods, keeping weight in check.
Sharpen the mind:
Key nutrients are essential for the brain to do its job. People who eat a selection of brightly colored fruit, leafy veggies, and fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich green tea may also enhance memory and mental alertness as you age.
Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a self-esteem boost. It’s all connected—when your body feels good you feel happier inside and out.