Staying Healthy And Happy This Women's Month - And Beyond!

Post by: Eastlands Estate, 31 Aug 2020

August is Women’s Month. It also happens to be the month that a very special Eastlands’ “resident” celebrates their first birthday!

Yes, it has been a whole year since our wonderful on-site restaurant, Flavor, first opened its doors, and now we can’t imagine how we possibly managed without it! Although Covid-19 restrictions have put a temporary hold on sit-down eating, Flavor has still managed to operate a wonderful – and much appreciated - take-away-only service, so that our residents can enjoy the odd break from nightly cooking!

We’re sure you’ll all join us in wishing Flavor a very Happy 1st Birthday! May you have many, many more!

So, with Women’s Month and Flavor’s birthday happening in August, we thought this would be the perfect time to take a closer look at the ways in which women over 50 can boost their nutrition to make sure they’re getting everything they need to combat some of the most common changes getting older brings.

We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” and eating a healthy, balanced diet is important at any age. But for women over 50, eating the right foods becomes even more important to help avoid health problems as they age.

Obviously, we’re not professional dieticians or doctors, so please get medical advice before making any radical changes to your diet. But the suggestions we’re giving you here are easy-to-implement changes you can make that will help you look and feel your best.

The risk of developing osteoporosis increases as we age. Both women and men can be affected by this bone disease, but women are more likely to suffer from it. In fact, roughly a third of women over 50 is at risk of an osteoporosis-caused bone break.

There are two main reasons for this:

1.     We naturally absorb less calcium as we age.

2.     Many women’s ability to tolerate dairy decreases as they get older.

Ideally, older women need around 1 200 milligrams of calcium every day (that’s three to four 220g servings). Even if you’re slightly lactose intolerant, you may find you can eat hard cheeses, yoghurt and kefir without difficulty.

But if dairy is really not an option for you, try to up your intake of dark leafy greens, and drink calcium-fortified orange juice (the vitamin C in the OJ helps increase the absorption of the calcium). You can also try eating more tinned salmon, legumes and broccoli. Prunes are also an excellent source of calcium. Aim for 5 or 6 a day.

Occasionally, your doctor might also suggest you take a calcium supplement.

Lean Protein
As we age, many women tend to sit more, and exercise less. This amplifies sarcopenia, a natural part of the aging process in which we lose muscle mass. Women can actually lose up to half their muscle mass by the age of 80. Making sure you eat enough healthy protein can help slow down this process.

Try to include more plant-based protein, including nuts, seeds, quinoa and beans, as well as eggs. A rough rule of thumb is to eat around 1.5g of protein per kilo of your body weight, per day.

Vitamin B12
This vitamin is absolutely essential for maintaining both brain function and healthy red blood cells. Women generally absorb fewer vitamins from their food as they age, so try to include more eggs, milk, fish, lean meat and fortified cereals and grains. Chat to your doctor about also taking a supplement.

Vital at any age, water is even more important as we age. As our activity levels slow, we may not get as thirsty, which means we are likely not as hydrated as we should be. Experts recommend drinking before you are thirsty - thirst is the first sign you’re dehydrated. Drink a glass of water with every meal and carry a water bottle with you wherever you go – remembering to drink from it!

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. It can help protect mature women’s skin from wrinkles and other damage caused by exposure to UV light. Cooked tomatoes are better than raw, as lycopene is more easily absorbed this way. Pizza sauce, anyone?

A superfood for any age group, turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by healing brain cells and help stave off age-related mental decline. The fresh root is best, but it’s not always easy to get hold of. The powdered version of this super spice is almost as potent, so use it in curries, marinades and smoothies.

Vitamin D
Older women, particularly those over 65, have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Most doctors recommend a supplement, and it also helps to get out into the sun for 15 minutes every day – without sunscreen. Adding mushrooms (particularly Portobello) as well as oily fish, fortified cereals and eggs to your diet are all great ways to up your levels of Vitamin D.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our female residents and staff a wonderful women’s month. Stay healthy and happy!


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