Eating quality food can help us improve our health

by Bonnie

Us over-50s often have to be careful about what we eat, as it seems we can put on three pounds just by being in the same room as a cream cake.

Us over-50s often have to be careful about what we eat, as it seems we can put on three pounds just by being in the same room as a cream cake.

But nutritional therapist Yvonne Bishop-Weston believes the answer is not to cut down on the amount of food we eat, but to make it better quality.

“One of the most important things to remember when you are older is that our digestive enzymes tend to reduce as we age so we actually need to eat even better than we have eaten before in order to get the nutrients out of our food,” she says.

This means opting for whole grains over the processed ingredients found in white bread and pasta, so stock up on the healthier stuff.

“Also, because appetite can be less as well, you need to have really good quality protein. So if you are having meat make sure it is organic and free-range and if it is too expensive have less of it and mix it with something cheaper like beans and pulses.”

The nutrition expert notes that our digestion can become more sluggish the older we get, which can make us prone to bowel problems. Lovely. This can actually make us feel full-up, causing us to eat even less, so choosing whole grain goods can help us ‘go’ a bit easier.

While the advice given might give the most ardent food fan a bit of a downer, the good news is that we still get to eat fat, albeit the good kind rather than the type found in biscuits and truffles.

“As we age we need to have more of a fat called DHA in the brain and that comes from the Omega 3 fatty acids because as we get older we possibly need more brain repair, so we need more DHA,” Ms Bishop-Weston explains.

“Make sure that there are enough essential fatty acids that come in things like oily fish and seeds like hemp and flaxseed; they help in two really important ways.”

The nutritional therapist’s comments came after research found we in Britain are really bad when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, with half of us admitting we let life get in the way of eating well.

Being busy, not having enough money or lacking willpower were some of the excuses given by people in the Fruitdrop survey, while 12 per cent of male respondents claimed that they do not believe a good diet is beneficial to overall health.

If you’re feeling a bit bored by your current food intake, try mixing it up by buying something you’d never tried before, or have a read of our feature on exotic fruit to see if it gives you any inspiration.

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