Nutrition plays a huge role in ageing well... it can help us to live long happy lives and continue to look and feel our best! There are so many things to consider when aiming for optimal nutrition, but here are our top ones!!
1) Fruit and vegetables.
They provide nutrients called phytocompounds that help prevent many debilitating conditions and diseases that will get in the way of living life to the full. What's more they provide the body with vitamins and minerals, particularly the antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants are necessary to reduce the ageing process... they help stabilise harmful 'free radicals' that are formed by pollution and activities of daily life. However, what fruit and veg are famous for are their high fibre content. This fibre not only helps to keep our gut healthy and moving, but is also needed to optimise energy levels and for weight control. So be sure to have some fruit or veg with every meal!
As we age we lose muscle mass (sarcopenia) and this has implications for body tone and also fat burning - the less muscle you have the less fat we will burn. Exercise is key as we age and so too is replenishing protein levels. Protein helps keep our metabolism running at the speed it should, keeps muscles strong, and also helps ensure satiety at meal times to help us avoid that temptation to overindulge. This helps us to control our weight and either achieve or maintain a healthy weight which is necessary for both our quantity and quality of life. The "average" person needs 0.83g of protein per kg of body weight but depending on activity levels a safe range is up to 1.6g per kg of body weight. Importantly, those levels needs to be consumed throughout the day. Adding protein to breakfast or having a protein shake in the morning or mid afternoon will be a good way to increase protein.
Once shunned because it was believed to lead to ill-health and weight gain, research is now bringing to light the importance of ensuring you get plenty of the good healthy fats in your diet to optimise health! The fats that are often lacking in diets include omega 9 and omega 3 fatty acids. Good sources of these fats include oily fish, oils such as olive and rapeseed, most nuts and seeds including walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed or linseed. Healthy fats play an important role in keeping our skin and joints healthy, supporting our nervous and cardiovascular system and even play an important structural role in our brain and eyes!
4) Eat for Energy
Energy can get depleted for all kinds of reasons but if you have ruled out a medical reason then your nutrition quite possibly needs an overhaul! Whilst the individual nutrients needed for energy are key, what people can overlook is that the starting point for energy is having a BALANCED diet. Why is this important for energy? Most people know that we need carbohydrates for energy but that's just the start as eating only carbohydrates would cause energy highs and lows. What's very important is to ensure that there is enough balancing protein, fat and fibre in what you eat to slow down the release of carbohydrates to create a steady absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
In terms of vitamins and minerals it's important to get the correct recommended daily amount of these every day and preferably from your food for optimal bioavailablity. Some of the headline vitamins and minerals to look out for (a lack of which could affect your energy levels) are: vitamin C which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue and supports a normal immune system: iron as low levels of iron can make you tired (iron also helps the absorption of vitamin C): zinc, manganese, and the B vitamins (not an exhaustive list).
Taking all this into consideration the nutritionists at that protein have developed their "Ultimate Energy Shake" which is high in plant proteins, fibre, healthy fats and vitamin C as well as containing other vitamins and minerals. Having a shake a day should help towards feeling your most energetic you! You can get the recipe here.
More recipes and information can be found here.
ENERGISING PROTEIN SHAKE
x 250ml Almond Milk
x 2-3 tablespoons that Protein's Happy Happy Hemp and Baobab Super Protein
x 8 chunks pineapple
x 50 ml pineapple juice
x tbsp of avocado
x tsp lime
x 1/2 tsp cinnamon
x cinnamon to sprinkle
If you like a sweeter shake add 2 tbsps of Agave Nectar for a low GI option
Put all ingredients in blender, blend well, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve immediately.