Superfoods to eat after 50

The 12 Best Superfoods for Older Adults

Discover a list of the healthiest foods that are nutrient dense for older adults to boost health, prevent chronic diseases and increase longevity.

Superfoods to eat after 50

To stay healthy, you need to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. While that advice is true for all ages, it is especially important as you get older.

Older adults need to eat a variety of healthy foods to maintain strength, bone mass and cognitive function, all of which can decline as the body ages.

The good news is that there are lots of tasty superfoods that can help you improve your health as you age.

What are superfoods?

There is no specific definition for “superfood” in the scientific community.

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“The word ‘superfood’ isn’t scientifically based or regulated,” explains Alison Neov, a registered dietitian with Goodwin Living, a senior living community in Falls Church, Virginia. “However, there are many nutrient-dense foods that are great to include regularly in your diet.”

Superfoods are essentially functional foods that provide an extra boost of nutrients.

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Why superfoods are important for older adults

Getting older can lead to a number of anatomical and physiological changes. Aging brings a declining need for calories due to several factors, including:

  • Digestive issues, such as constipation. Aging affects all functions of your gastrointestinal system, including motility (or how food passes through your system), enzyme and hormone secretion, digestion and absorption, according to a 2019 study. The study cites an increase in the prevalence of constipation, particularly among elderly populations, due to decreased mobility, cognitive impairment, comorbid (or simultaneous) medical issues, medication use and dietary changes.
  • Age-related muscle mass loss, a condition known as sarcopenia. A review published in the journal Ageing Research Reviews notes two major factors that contribute to muscle mass loss in aging individuals: atrophy and loss of muscle fibers. Researchers have also pointed to decreases in certain hormone levels as a possible contributor.
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis, two conditions in which the bones become brittle and more likely to fracture. A number of factors have been shown to impact bone mass loss as you age, including genetics, nutrition, lifestyle and comorbidities, as noted in a 2018 study. The study says that osteopenia, a condition that occurs when you lose bone mass, often progresses to osteoporosis, which is characterized by reduced bone mineral density and an increased rate of bone loss.

As you navigate these changes in your body, following a healthy diet that contains nutrient-dense foods is critical. Getting all the various vitamins and minerals you need from foods that don’t provide excess calories, sugar, fat and preservatives can help you manage your weight and live a healthier life.

These 12 superfoods can help:

1. Superfood: Dark green leafy vegetables

Green vegan breakfast meal in bowl with spinach, arugula, avocado, seeds and sprouts. Girl in leggins holding plate with hands visible, top view. Clean eating, dieting, vegan food concept

It’s important to eat more vegetables, especially as an older adult, and dark leafy greens lead the way because they contain large quantities of antioxidants.

“Foods high in antioxidants, such as dark green leafy vegetables and berries, assist in removing free radicals from the body,” Neov says.

Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that can build up in cells and cause damage to other cells. Fighting off free radicals can lower your risk for many diseases associated with aging, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Leafy green vegetables are also high in vitamin K, which helps blood clot and protects bones from osteoporosis.

Examples of dark leafy greens include:

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Watercress

These nutritional powerhouses provide carotenoids, a type of antioxidant particularly protective against oxidative damage in the eyes.

Leafy greens are also rich in:

  • Folate, which can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive impairment. Most adults should aim for about 400 micrograms of folate daily.
  • Magnesium, which is involved in a wide array of metabolic processes throughout the body and helps prevent Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and sarcopenia. The recommended daily value of magnesium is 420 milligrams.
  • Potassium, which can reduce high blood pressure. Most adults should aim for 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily.
  • Vitamin K, which is critical for getting calcium out of our arteries and into our bones, so it’s helpful for preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Most adults should aim to consume 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends that seniors consume 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day.

Nutritional information

One cup of raw broccoli, for example, contains about:

  • Calories: 31
  • Total fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Protein: 2.4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Folate: 57.33 micrograms
  • Magnesium: 19.1 milligrams (14% of daily value)
  • Potassium: 288 milligrams (6% of daily value)
  • Vitamin K: 92.5 micrograms (77% of vitamin K)
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Blueberries or huckleberries and mint leaf in a coconut bowl. The bowl is on a rustic wooden table with a gray background. There are some blueberries outside the bowl.

2. Superfood: Blueberries and other superfood berries

All berries are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, compounds typically found in plant-based foods.

Types of berries to incorporate into your diet include:

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Goji berries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries

Different types of berries may vary in their nutrient profile, but they’re all going to be similar in how potent and beneficial they can be.

Blueberries, for example, have high levels of vitamins C and K, as well as phytochemicals and antioxidants that promote bone and brain health. In fact, several animal and human studies have demonstrated a diet rich in blueberries has positive neurocognitive effects, meaning that these tiny berries may help you stave off age-related memory decline.

Antioxidant-rich foods – like blueberries – may also potentially represent one strategy for slowing down age-related bone loss and improving your bones’ ability to heal.

“Some causes of bone loss can be attributed to increased oxidative stress through the aging process,” says Reema Kanda, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California. “Several studies have identified greater fruit intake with decreased fracture risk, greater bone mineral density and decreased bone turnover.”

Try to eat fresh or frozen berries without added sugar. Consuming high-quality, minimally processed produce helps ensure you’re receiving optimal levels of nutrients. Aim to eat a half to full cup of blueberries – or your preferred berry – per day.

Nutritional information

One cup of blueberries contains about:

  • Calories: 84
  • Total fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 21 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14 milligrams (16% of daily value)
  • Vitamin K: 29 micrograms (24% of daily value)

Preparing brussel sprouts for cooking

3. Superfood: Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and are chock full of antioxidants that can help prevent cellular damage,, as well as folate and vitamins C and K. They’re also high in fiber, which helps promote regular bowel movements and can help you maintain a healthy weight by increasing the feeling of fullness on relatively few calories.

Four to six sprouts per day is all it takes to get that powerful nutrient punch, and they’re delicious when prepared simply. Cut them in half, toss in olive oil, add a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and roast at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. Flip them over halfway through, and you’re good to go.

Another popular yet simple way to serve Brussels sprouts is by shredding them, either with a food processor or by finely chopping them with a knife if you don’t have a processor on hand.

You can blend a slaw-like salad by tossing the shredded sprouts with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, goat cheese and a light salad dressing. You could also sauté them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add sliced almonds to serve.

If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and broccoli, are also good choices.

Nutritional information

One cup of cooked, boiled Brussels sprouts without added salt contains about:

  • Calories: 56
  • Total fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Folate: 94 micrograms (23% of daily value)
  • Vitamin C: 97 milligrams (107% of daily value)
  • Vitamin K: 218 micrograms (182% of daily value)
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Cutting salmon

4. Superfood: Salmon and other fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease your risk for plant-based foods, and protein, a macronutrient that is essential for maintaining muscle mass and strength. This is important at any age, but especially later in life.

“Our bodies tend to process protein less efficiently as we age, which is why it’s important to have a protein-rich food source with each meal,” Neov says.

Plus, salmon is packed with minerals, such as selenium, and an array of vitamins, including vitamin D, which plays an important role in bone health to protect against osteoporosis as you age.

Serving suggestion:

For a simple dinner or lunch option, she recommends baking salmon on a sheet pan with asparagus and potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Coat the sliced potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Bake for 10 minutes on a sheet pan.
  • Add marinated salmon filets and asparagus to the sheet pan, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with sliced lemon wedges.

Nutritional information

A 124-gram filet serving of salmon has about:

  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 6.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Vitamin B3: 12 milligrams (74% of daily value)
  • Vitamin B12: 6 micrograms (245% of daily value)
  • Vitamin D: 16 micrograms (81% of daily value)
  • Selenium: 47 micrograms (85% of daily value)

Multi-colored beets on gray background
5. Superfood: Beets

Beets are a superfood that can help you age well.

“Beets and beet juice are underappreciated superfoods that reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and improve your cognitive functions,” says Pam Hartnett, a Ridgefield, Connecticut-based cancer recovery coach and owner of Pam Hartnett Coaching and the Vitality Dietitians.

Beets have this effect because they offer potent antioxidant properties that help protect your body against harmful free radicals, as well as folate and manganese, which promotes healthy bones, immunity and proper blood clotting for wound healing.

In particular, the nitrates in beets improve circulation, which can help lower blood pressure and improve memory and brain function. Whole beets are also high in fiber, which promotes gut health, improves digestion and helps reduce cholesterol levels.

While there’s no specific dose of beets that’s yet been deemed best, Hartnett recommends consuming one to two large beets or three to four small beets per day. Alternatively, a 6- to 8-ounce glass of beet juice provides similar results, minus the fiber.

If you’re looking for ways to boost your beet intake, Hartnett recommends buying them pre-cooked or canned and adding them to salads.

“You can also blend them into smoothies or juice them if you have a juicer. Beet juice is surprisingly delicious,” Hartnett adds.

Nutritional information

One beet (about 2 inches in diameter) has about:

  • Calories: 35
  • Total fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Fiber: 2.3 grams
  • Folate: 89 micrograms (22% of daily value)
  • Manganese: 0.27 milligrams (12% of daily value)

6. Superfood: Eggs

Eggs have been both reviled and praised over the years, and many people have settled on just eating egg whites to get a good protein boost without the cholesterol found in the yolks.

But by skipping on the egg yolks, you’re missing out on key nutrients.

“Most of the nutritional benefits in eggs can be found in the egg yolk, so please eat the whole egg, not just the egg whites,” Neov says.

Egg yolks are rich in:

  • Selenium, which helps protect the body from infection and damage caused by free radicals. Seafood is also a rich source of selenium. Most adults should aim to consume 55 micrograms of selenium daily – which can nearly be achieved by snacking on three hard-boiled eggs in the afternoon.
  • Vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth. Without enough vitamin D, your bones can soften and become thin or brittle.
  • Vitamin B12,whichkeeps blood and nerve cells healthy in your body. The daily recommended intake for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms, so a morning serving of three scrambled eggs will have you more than halfway there.
  • Choline, an essential nutrient that’s important for older adults “because it plays a role in regulating memory and mood,” Neov says. Each egg yolk contains 140 milligrams of choline on average, which is about 28% of your daily needs.

Nutritional information

One large, hard-boiled egg has about:

  • Calories: 78
  • Total fat: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: less than 1 gram
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Selenium: 15.4 micrograms (28% of daily value)
  • Vitamin B2: 0.26 milligrams (20% of daily value)
  • Vitamin B5: 0.7 milligrams (14% of daily value).
  • Vitamin B12: 0.56 micrograms (23% of daily value)
  • Vitamin D: 1.1 micrograms (6% of daily value)
  • Choline: 147 milligrams (27% of daily value)

7. Superfood: Plain Greek yogurt

Bowl of yogurt with raspberries. Top view, table scene on a dark slate background.

“Greek yogurt is a functional food because it’s so versatile,” Kanda says. “It has more protein compared to regular yogurt, and a 6-ounce serving is almost equivalent to a 3-ounce serving of meat. Therefore, its high protein content can support prevention of sarcopenia.”

Plus, its high calcium content is important for older adults looking to strengthen bones to prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Greek yogurt also contains probiotics that keep the digestive tract healthy. This is important because poor gut health can impact other health conditions.

Yogurt tends to have less milk-sugar lactose, so if you’re lactose intolerant, you may find yogurt to be easier to digest than cow’s milk.

“Fat can help increase satiety, control blood sugar levels and assist your body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D,” Kanda says. “Top your yogurt with berries if you need to naturally sweeten it. If you cannot tolerate dairy, another food group high in probiotics (is) fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut.”

Aim to eat 6 to 8 ounces of yogurt each day. In addition to a standalone nutritious breakfast, you can also substitute it for sour cream in various recipes, such as tacos.

Nutritional information

A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt contains about:

  • Calories: 73
  • Total fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams (20% of daily value)
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Calcium: 115 milligrams
  • Vitamin B12: 0.5 micrograms (22% of daily value)
  • Selenium: 12.4 micrograms (23% of daily value)
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Nuts and seeds spread out on marble background

8. Superfood: Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds pack a nutritional punch, and they provide a number of health benefits for aging people.

Plus, both nuts and seeds are a nutrient-rich food and excellent plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Good options include:

  • Walnuts
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds

But it isn’t always enough just to eat more omega-3s.
“Most people also need to actively work on decreasing those foods that are high in omega-6 (fatty acids),” says Lori Chong, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with BayCare Health System in St. Petersburg, Florida.

While your body needs some omega-6 fatty acids, and some foods that are high in these essential fats are very healthy, you do need to be careful to keep the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in balance.

In other words, healthy sources of omega-6 fatty acids, such as walnuts, are better choices than foods that have been fried in vegetable oils, such as sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils. Examples include baked goods, potato chips, corn chips and other fried snack foods such as onion rings and french fries.

Nutritional information

One ounce of chopped walnuts, for example, has about:

  • Calories: 185
  • Total fat: 18 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Potassium: 142 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.9 milligrams (5% of daily value)
  • Calcium: 115 milligrams (2% of daily value)

With nuts and seeds, just be careful with portion size. These foods are high in calories and fat. While they’re good fats, you can still overindulge, so keep consumption levels limited to a small handful each day.

Top view of leguminous seeds on rustic wood table

9. Superfood: Beans

Another great plant-based source of nutrients is beans.

“Beans, including edamame, and lentils are our highest fiber foods,” Chong says. “Fiber protects against cancer, weight gain, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Most Americans need more fiber from whole plant foods, not supplements.”

Plus, edamame contains 38% of your daily value of vitamin K and 19% of your daily value of iron, which is important for a healthy immune system and for the formation of red blood cells needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Chong recommends making a simple bean salad by opening any can of beans, rinsing well and adding:

  • ½ to 1 cup of any mixture of vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lime juice
  • Any fresh or dried herb, such as cilantro or parsley

“For example, you might try great northern beans, kale, tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, white wine vinegar and cilantro,” Chong says. “You can eat this as a side dish to your main protein, eat it for a quick snack or add it to salad greens for a really quick salad.”
Incorporating beans into existing dishes is another easy way to up your superfood intake. You can stir beans into soup, add them to your chicken quesadillas or mix them into a red tomato sauce poured over pasta.

Nutritional information

One cup of cooked edamame, for example, has about:

  • Calories: 224
  • Total fat: 12 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 14 grams
  • Protein: 18.5 grams (36% of daily value)
  • Fiber: 8 grams (29% of daily value)
  • Iron: 3.5 milligrams (19% of daily value)
  • Vitamin K: 45 micrograms (38% of daily value)
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Top view of wholegrain and cereal composition shot on rustic wooden table. This type of food is rich of fiber and is ideal for dieting. The composition includes wholegrain sliced bread, wholegrain pasta, oat flakes, flax seed, brown rice, mixed beans, wholegrain crackers and spelt. Predominant color is brown. DSRL studio photo taken with Canon EOS 5D Mk II and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

10. Superfood: Whole grains

Whole grains are also something of a superfood, especially when compared to their refined counterparts.

“We miss so many nutrients when a grain is refined to make the white, refined product,” Chong says.

Substituting whole grains for refined grains will boost your intake of several important nutrients including:

  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E

Chong recommends trying “a new-to-you whole grain in place of pasta or white rice, such as quinoa, barley, bulgur, farro or millet. Don’t be afraid to experiment!”

And be sure to reach for that breakfast staple of oats regularly.

“Eat oatmeal routinely for breakfast or an afternoon snack,” Chong. “Buy it plain, either rolled oats or steel-cut. Sweeten it naturally with berries or other fruit.”

Nutritional information

One cup of raw oats contains about:

  • Calories: 307
  • Total fat: 5.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 55 grams
  • Protein: 10.7 grams (22% of daily value)
  • Fiber: 8 grams (29% of daily value)
  • Iron: 3.4 milligrams (19% of daily value)
  • Vitamin B1: 0.37 milligrams (31% of daily value)
  • Magnesium: 112 milligrams (27% of daily value)
  • Selenium: 23.4 micrograms (43% of daily value)
  • Phosphorus: 332 milligrams (27% of daily value)
  • Zinc: 3 milligrams (27% of daily value)

The daily recommended intake for phosphorus is 1,250 milligrams, so you’ll meet a quarter of your goal by starting the day with a cup of oatmeal. Phosphorus is a crucial nutrient for building strong bones and teeth, supporting your metabolism and aiding in various cellular functions in the body.

garlic on wooden chopping board

11. Superfood: Garlic

Garlic falls into the superfood category because it is multifaceted in what it can do and how it benefits us.

The allium family – which includes garlic, onions, chives and scallions – has a lot of antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal benefits when consumed, and they could possibly support immune health. Although they may be pungent in scent, allium vegetables add a rich flavor to any dish.

A review of studies evaluating garlic’s therapeutic benefits, garlic may play a role in the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Garlic may have a positive effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup on artery walls) prevention
  • Anti-tumor effects: Some studies suggested that garlic has potential cancer-preventive effects. Powerful compounds in garlic may work by stopping the activation of cancer-causing substances, enhancing the body’s ability to get rid of toxins and protect DNA from harm.
  • Diabetes management: Experimental studies – largely conducted in diabetic animals – included in the review demonstrated a blood sugar-lowering effect; however, the effect of garlic on human blood glucose is controversial.
  • Antifungal effects: Studies show garlic is effective against various fungi, inhibiting their growth and damaging their membranes, meaning it may be an effective natural remedy for fungal infections.
  • Antimicrobial effects: Garlic has been shown to be effective against various bacteria, such as salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus. Garlic’s antibacterial power is attributed to the compound allicin.

While studies suggest that garlic may have potential therapeutic effects, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of garlic’s health benefits. The review notes challenges like small sample sizes, issues with methodological approaches and the absence of control groups in existing research, pointing to a need for more standardized, extensive trials to really understand its effects.

Nutritional information

Three cloves (about 9 grams) of raw garlic contains about:

  • Calories: 13
  • Total fat: less than 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Protein: less than 1 gram
  • Fiber: less than 1 gram
  • Vitamin B6: 0.11 milligrams (7% of daily value)
  • Manganese: 0.150 milligrams (7% of daily value)
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12: Superfood: Herbs and spices

Adding herbs and spices to dishes is a great way to enhance flavor, while packing a nutritional punch. Many are known for their high antioxidant content, as well as being good sources of vitamins and minerals. For example:

  • Turmeric: Turmeric’s standout component is curcumin, known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound may increase the body’s ability to neutralize free radicals, harmful molecules that are known to contribute to developing chronic disease. A meta-analysis also suggests curcumin may alleviate symptoms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. Turmeric powder contains approximately 1% to 6% of curcumin by weight.
  • Cinnamon: This nutty-tasting spice is rich in antioxidants, which protect your body by fighting damage to cells caused by free radicals. Studies suggest that cinnamon may also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Ginger: This zesty yet earthy-flavored spice adds an invigorating kick to any dish. Gingerol is the potent phytochemical compound in ginger, known for many health benefits. A systematic review of more than 100 studies examining the health benefits of ginger, and the results suggest that ginger may aid in reducing nausea, help protect the gastrointestinal system, potentially provide pain relief and reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk factors of metabolic syndromes.

Other beneficial herbs and spices to consider adding to our next dish are oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil or parsley.

Eat a varied, balanced diet.

In general, it’s not about focusing on one or two foods. Instead, you’re trying to look at the totality of your diet and what your body may need.

“Instead of focusing on fad diets that cut out major food groups, it’s important to try to have a balanced plate,” Neov adds. “A balanced plate would contain ¼ protein, ¼ whole grain and ½ fruits or vegetables. This diet plan is easy to follow and will help ensure that you have adequate fiber, protein and a variety of fruits and vegetables each day.”

Try to fill up half your plate with veggies, particularly focusing on non-starchy vegetables. Eat the rainbow, and don’t be stingy.

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Consider calories and nutrients.

One of the challenges of ensuring good nutrition in your golden years is getting your nutrients without excess calories. Older adults have reduced caloric requirements due to reduced body mass and energy used.

These reduced caloric requirements are dependent on certain factors, such as physical activity level. Generally speaking, however, healthy eating for older adults means opting for nutrient-rich foods that are lower in calories.

Older adults should aim to consume around 2,000 calories daily, with 45% to 65% of daily calories from carbs, 20% to 35% from fats and 10% to 35% from protein.

Older women, in particular, should keep an eye on their calcium intake. Women over 50 years old have a higher risk of osteoporosis than men do post-menopause due to the hormonal changes that occur. However, calcium is still important for both men and women, as it’s imperative for heart and muscle health.

In addition, aim to keep your total sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams per day, with a goal of lowering your intake to 1,500 milligrams per day. And limit alcohol to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Get expert advice tailored to your situation.

The best way to make sure your diet includes the right superfoods – and nutrients, in general – to keep you healthy in the long term is by working with a registered dietitian nutritionist who can guide you on what and how much to eat.

“Dietitians can help clients make wise decisions about food by judging the value of individual foods within the total dietary framework,” Kanda says. “No single food, no matter how super it claims to be, can take the place of the importance of a combination of nutrients from all major food groups.”

Working with an RDN can also help you figure out your individual needs.

“(They) really understand where you’re at and where you’re at compared to your goals and your overall intake,” says Monique Richard, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “That’s really going to be beneficial because everybody comes from a different walk of life.”

People are of different ages, come from different circumstances, experience different health conditions and have different goals, she adds. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

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Lastly, Chong urges you to look at food as more than just calories and nutrients.

“It’s information for your genes and your cells. The (food) you give your body turns up or turns down inflammation,” Chong says.

Lowering inflammation can reduce your risk of many diseases associated with aging, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.

“Consuming touted ‘superfoods’ will not turn you into a superhuman, but cooking more with fresh, whole foods from a variety of food groups is a superpower we have the ability to harness,” Richard emphasizes.

Updated on May 30, 2024: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.



The U.S. News Health team delivers accurate information about health, nutrition and fitness, as well as in-depth medical condition guides. All of our stories rely on multiple, independent sources and experts in the field, such as medical doctors and licensed nutritionists. To learn more about how we keep our content accurate and trustworthy, read our editorial guidelines.

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