- In France, it is estimated that 39% of women around the age of 65 suffer from osteoporosis.
- Sarcopenia affects 25% of people over the age of 70.
- A severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage, loss of feeling in hands and feet, motor disorders or even dementia.
Nutritional needs change throughout life. Depending on age, the body needs certain nutrients in certain quantities. It helps to stay healthy. Therefore, women in their 50s should make some dietary changes to stay in shape.
Calcium and vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis
As we age, bone mass in the body naturally decreases. In some people, the phenomenon increases the risk of osteoporosis. “Osteoporosis is a diffuse skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone density and changes in bone microarchitecturestates the health insurance company. These changes make the bone more brittle and increase the risk of fracture.” This disease is two to three times more common in women than in men, largely due to hormonal changes associated with menopause. A suitable diet reduces the risk: “Give preference to foods rich in calcium (dairy products, mineral water containing calcium, etc.) and those that provide vitamin D (oily fish, egg yolks, butter, etc.), advises the health insurance company. For women over 50, it is recommended to consume at least 1200 mg of calcium per day. Adequate weight, regular physical activity, limited alcohol consumption and smoking cessation are also determining factors for the risk of osteoporosis.
Proteins to protect muscles
Not only do the bones bear the brunt of aging, the muscles also suffer from the consequences of aging. This phenomenon has a name: sarcopenia, loss of muscle mass. Between the ages of 50 and 80 we lose an average of 30% muscle mass. Diet is one of the parameters to reduce the risk. According to a study by Cerin, seniors should consume between 1 and 1.2 kg of protein per pound of body weight per day, which equates to 60 to 72 g of protein per day for a 130 pound senior. “The experts of the European Society for Clinical and Economical Aspects of Osteoporosis also recommend the intake of at least 20 to 25 g protein of high nutritional quality with each meal, in combination with a regular intake of calcium and vitamin D, for the musculoskeletal health of women over 50 and physical activity”, specifies the document. For example, eating 100g of meat, two large eggs or 250g of cooked semolina with 100g of chickpeas is equivalent to 18-20g of protein.
Vitamin B12 to protect the brain
As we age, there is also a risk of reduced absorption of nutrients essential to our good health. Among them is vitamin B12 in particular, which is involved in brain health. Men and women over 18 should consume 4 µg/day according to ANSES recommendations. “The most important food sources of vitamin B12 are offal (especially liver), fish, eggs, meat, milk and other dairy products”, explains ANSES. Dietary supplements are available for vegetarians/vegans.
Good health after 50 also requires adequate hydration and regular physical activity. According to the World Health Organization, 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance sports should be practiced at this age.