11 Foods to Add to Your Diet for Over 50 for 2023

As you age, it’s important to pay attention to your nutrition to support overall health and well-being. Here are 11 foods that may be worth adding to your diet if you are over 50:

green leafy salad in a wooden bowl

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are considered to be some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They are rich in a variety of nutrients including:

  1. Vitamins: Leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamins K, A, and C. Vitamin K is important for maintaining healthy bones, while vitamin A is important for vision and immune function. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage.
  2. Minerals: Leafy greens are also a good source of minerals, including calcium, iron, and potassium. Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones, while iron is essential for carrying oxygen to the body’s cells. Potassium is important for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
  3. Fiber: Leafy greens are high in fiber, which can support digestion and help to prevent constipation.
  4. Antioxidants: Some leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are high in antioxidants, which are substances that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  5. Low in calories: Leafy greens are low in calories, making them a good choice for people trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Some common types of leafy greens include kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens, and lettuce.

bowls of berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

Berries

Berries are high in nutrients and low in calories. They are considered to be “super foods” and have many potential health benefits including :

  1. High in antioxidants: Berries are high in antioxidants, which are substances that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
  2. High in fiber: Berries are high in fiber, which supports digestion and help to prevent constipation.
  3. Low in calories: Berries are generally low in calories, making them a good choice for people trying to maintain a healthy weight.
  4. May improve heart health: Some studies have suggested that consuming berries may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  5. May improve brain function: Some research has suggested that consuming berries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and support brain function.

Some common types of berries include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

bowl of brown rice

Whole grains

Whole grains are plant seeds that contain all three parts of the grain – the bran, germ, and endosperm. They are considered to be more nutritious than refined grains, which have had the bran and germ removed during processing. Here are some potential health benefits of consuming whole grains:

  1. High in fiber: Whole grains are high in fiber, which can help to support digestion and prevent constipation.
  2. May reduce the risk of heart disease: Some research has suggested that consuming whole grains may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  3. May reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: Some studies have suggested that consuming whole grains may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar control.
  4. May support weight management: Whole grains are generally high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, potentially supporting weight management.
  5. May improve gut health: Whole grains are a good source of prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that help to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

There are many different types of whole grains, including oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat.

assortment of nuts and seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in a variety of nutrients. Here are some potential health benefits of consuming nuts and seeds:

  1. High in healthy fats: Nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help to support heart health.
  2. High in protein: Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  3. High in fiber: Nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which can help to support digestion and prevent constipation.
  4. High in antioxidants: Nuts and seeds are high in antioxidants, which are substances that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  5. May reduce the risk of heart disease: Some studies have suggested that consuming nuts and seeds may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  6. May improve brain function: Some research has suggested that consuming nuts and seeds have a positive impact on brain function and reduce the risk of developing cognitive decline.

There are many different types of nuts and seeds, including almonds, peanuts, cashews, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

assortment of legumes

Legumes

Legumes include beans, lentils, and chickpeas, among others. They are a good source of a number of nutrients that can support your overall health, including:

  1. Protein: Legumes are a good source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  2. Fiber: Legumes are high in fiber, which can help to support digestion and prevent constipation.
  3. Iron: Legumes are a good source of iron, which is essential for carrying oxygen to the body’s cells.
  4. B vitamins: Legumes are a good source of B vitamins, which are important for energy metabolism and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  5. Minerals: Legumes are a good source of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
  6. May reduce the risk of heart disease: Some research has suggested that consuming legumes may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  7. May support weight management: Legumes are generally low in calories and high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, potentially supporting weight management.

There are many different types of legumes, including beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

fatty fish

Fatty fish

Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is important for overall health. Here are some potential health benefits of consuming fatty fish:

  1. May support heart health: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  2. May improve brain function: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function, and some research has suggested that consuming fatty fish may enhance brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
  3. May reduce the risk of depression: Some studies have suggested that consuming fatty fish may help to reduce the risk of depression by improving the balance of chemicals in the brain.
  4. May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer: Some research has suggested that consuming fatty fish may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer.
  5. May support joint health: Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation in the joints, potentially reducing the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis.

Some examples of fatty fish include salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

bowl of egg whites

Egg whites

Egg whites are the protein-rich part of an egg that can support overall health and well-being. Here are some potential benefits of consuming egg whites:

  1. High in protein: Egg whites are a good source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  2. Low in calories and fat: Egg whites are low in calories and fat, making them a good choice for people trying to maintain a healthy weight.
  3. May support muscle building: Protein is important for muscle building and repair, and consuming enough protein can help to support muscle mass, particularly in older adults.
  4. May support weight management: Egg whites are low in calories and fat, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, potentially supporting weight management.
  5. May improve exercise performance: Some research has suggested that consuming protein before and after exercise may help to improve exercise performance and recovery.
bowl of plain greek yogurt

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a fermented milk product that is made by straining the whey from regular yogurt, which results in a thicker, creamier consistency. Here are some potential benefits of consuming Greek yogurt:

  1. High in protein: Greek yogurt is high in protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  2. High in calcium: Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones.
  3. Contains probiotics: Greek yogurt is a fermented food that contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These probiotics can help to improve the balance of bacteria in the gut, which is known as the gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is important for a number of reasons, including supporting the proper functioning of the digestive system and promoting overall health and well-being.
  4. May support weight management: Greek yogurt is generally low in calories and high in protein, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, potentially supporting weight management.
  5. May improve bone health: Some research has suggested that consuming dairy products like Greek yogurt may help to improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women.
ground tumeric

Tumeric

Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a warm, slightly bitter flavor and a bright yellow color. Turmeric is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which may provide a number of potential health benefits. Here are some potential benefits of consuming turmeric:

  1. May reduce inflammation: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and some research has suggested that it may help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a normal immune response that occurs in response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of certain diseases.
  2. May reduce the risk of heart disease: Some research has suggested that consuming turmeric may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  3. May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer: Some studies have suggested that turmeric may have a protective effect against certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
  4. May improve brain function: Some research has suggested that turmeric may boost brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
  5. May support joint health: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and some research has suggested that it may help to reduce inflammation in the joints, potentially reducing the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis.

It’s important to note that the specific nutrients and health benefits of turmeric will vary depending on the specific type and how it is prepared.

fresh cloves of garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a pungent, flavorful herb commonly used in cooking. Here are some potential benefits of consuming garlic:

  1. High in antioxidants: Garlic is high in antioxidants, which are substances that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  2. May reduce the risk of heart disease: Some research has suggested that consuming garlic may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  3. May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer: Some studies have suggested that garlic may have a protective effect against certain types of cancer, including stomach, colon, and breast cancer.
  4. May improve bone health: Some research has suggested that consuming garlic may help to improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women.
  5. May support immune function: Garlic has antimicrobial properties and may help to support immune function by fighting off infections.
cup of green tea

Green tea

Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Here are some potential benefits of consuming green tea:

  1. High in antioxidants: Green tea is high in antioxidants, which are substances that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  2. May improve heart health: Some research has suggested that consuming green tea may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
  3. May improve brain function: Some researchers have suggested that consuming green tea may have a positive impact on brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
  4. May support weight management: Green tea may help to support weight management by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
  5. May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer: Some research has suggested that green tea may have a protective effect against certain types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.