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Beetroot

Beetroot
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This sweet root veggie has a lot going for it. “The earthy vegetable can boost your energy, brain power, heart health, and more,” says dietitian Patricia Bannan. “Beets are full of nitrates that can increase blood flow to the brain, which can help combat dementia.” The nitrates can also help keep blood pressure in check. “They’re converted to nitric oxide in the body and can help lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels,” says Bannan. Try roasting beets in the oven to eat as a side dish or in a sweet taco.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds
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Who doesn’t want to keep their skin looking young? “A review study suggests that eating a combination of vitamin E and vitamin C can help protect the skin from UV damage,” says dietitian Natalie Rizzo. “Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, and they pair nicely with a spinach salad. Spinach offers vitamin C.”

Read on for the best ways to make vitamins and minerals work better for you.

Pecans

Pecans
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They’re not just for pralines and pecan pie, “People over age 50 may worry about heart disease,” says dietitian, Toby Amidor.  “The unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fibre, and flavonoids in pecans all add up to make pecans a heart-healthy nut. Research indicates that eating a serving of pecans each day may help reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Whey protein

Whey protein
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“Since we know that the loss of muscle begins around age 30, it makes sense to think about foods that can help slow down the process of sarcopenia – age-related muscle loss,” says dietitian Ryan Whitcomb. While most nutrition experts will say it’s best to get protein from whole-food sources, obtaining enough is not always possible. You can supplement with whey, adding it to smoothies, yogurt, pancake mix, and more.

“Whey is a high-quality, complete protein,” says Whitcomb. “Another great thing about whey is that it is rich in cysteine, which leads to higher levels of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is one of the most important, if not the most important antioxidant in the body. Glutathione can help prevent the damage that free radicals may cause.”

Dark leafy greens

Dark leafy greens
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“These vegetables, such as collard greens and kale, are an excellent source of calcium,” says dietitian, Angie Asche. “As you age, calcium needs are increased. One cup of cooked collard greens provides almost 30 per cent of the daily value for calcium, along with a number of other important nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fibre.”

Don’t miss these simple things you can do daily to boost your bones.

Beans

Beans
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“As we get older, our risk of developing chronic diseases such as hyperlipidemia, high-cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes increases,” says dietitian, Emily Kyle. “Consuming a fibre-rich, plant-based diet that includes beans and legumes can help reduce the incidence of these diseases, while also providing an aging body with many important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and potassium.” Add chickpeas to a rice bowl or white beans to a pizza.  “You don’t need to consume an entirely plant-based diet to reap the benefits of beans, just add them to the meals you are already cooking to begin to enjoy their nutritious benefits immediately,” notes Kyle.

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Quinoa

Quinoa
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Here’s another way to up your protein intake. “You can’t go wrong with this plant-based protein source,” says dietitian Dana Angelo White. Quinoa is a complete protein, offering all nine essential amino acids. “It’s a higher protein substitute for brown rice in stir-fries, salads, and even burritos,” says Angelo White. You can also use quinoa as a base for a hearty salad.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes
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Here’s a food that you may already love – but did you know it can help prevent wrinkles? Because tomatoes boast the antioxidant lycopene, they may help protect skin from damage that may occur from sun exposure. Your body best absorbs the lycopene from cooked tomatoes, so try combining tomato sauce with pasta or spaghetti squash.

Check out these everyday habits that can make you look younger.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms
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“After age 50, it’s important for women to eat foods that counteract symptoms of menopause, like brittle bones and low bone density,” says Rizzo. “During this stage of life, it’s crucial to increase your intake of bone-boosting calcium and vitamin D. Mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin D, and research suggests using mushrooms as a substitute for beef may help reduce calories in your diet.” Make sure to look for mushrooms grown in sunlight or under UV light to get the biggest helping of vitamin D.

Find out more about the three stages of menopause here.

Prunes

Prunes
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Want to keep your bones strong as you get older? “Research suggests that eating five to six prunes each day may help to prevent bone loss,” says dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade.   “And since bone loss can accelerate after age 50, adding a food like prunes can be key for this population.” As a no-sugar-added dried fruit, prunes are a great way to promote digestive health with three grams of fibre per serving, she adds.

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