Fighting age-related disease with food
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly is a great way to promote good health but did you know that some foods are particularly good at fighting the diseases that often occur in the over 50s such as BPH, high blood pressure and arthritis?
So, what are my top 6 foods for men over 50?
Pumpkin seeds for enlarged prostate
Carving a pumpkin this Halloween? Making tasty pumpkin soup? Don’t throw out those highly nutritious pumpkin seeds!
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and fatty acids, so they’re a tasty alternative to unhealthy snacks. However, they can be particularly useful if you suffer from an enlarged prostate. This is because pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is found in high concentrations in the prostate.
Toss together some pumpkin seeds, olive oil and paprika, then spread out on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy for a spicy, savoury snack. Delicious!
Artichokes for cholesterol
Artichoke is a delicious vegetable that, for men over 50, can help to support healthy cholesterol levels.
Artichokes contain a substance called cynarin which can encourage the production of bile. This helps to break down fats and as a result it is particularly useful at supporting digestion - that's exactly why we include it in our Digestisan remedy!
However, bile also plays a role in eliminating cholesterol which is why artichokes are thought to help support healthy cholesterol levels. A few studies have shown promising results regarding this health benefit, with one even finding that artichoke leaf extract could reduce LDL cholesterol by around 20%!
If you’re not a fan of eating artichokes, you can try our Artichoke tincture, which contains extracts of fresh, organic artichoke leaves.
Linseed for healthy bowels
The second seed to appear on this list, linseed is packed full of omega 3, antioxidants, fibre and magnesium, making it another great addition to your diet.
In particular, the fibre found in linseeds is vital for supporting healthy digestion and for preventing constipation. Constipation causes a build-up of toxins in the body which can have a knock-on effect on other organs like the prostate, liver and kidneys. You might also find that these toxins begin to affect the skin, causing problems like acne or eczema.
You can sprinkle ground linseed on porridge or cereal, add it to smoothies or include it in a range of bakes.
Green leafy veg for overall nutrition
When it comes to all-round nutrition, green leafy vegetables are one of the most important things you can include in your diet! They are packed full of fibre, vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, vitamin A and antioxidants. They’re also natural anti-inflammatories, making them a great choice for those of you with inflammatory problems like arthritis.
Green leafy vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli, swiss chard, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts.
While most of the foods on this list are linked with a specific health problem, leafy greens are just a great way to provide extra nutrition to your diet, and this can have a big effect on all kinds of health issues.
Broccoli, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup with Fitness Mix Sprouts
Beetroot for blood pressure
We know that as you age, blood pressure can become a growing concern. However, you might be surprised to know that some foods can actually contribute to lowering blood pressure!
One of these is beetroot. This tasty purple vegetable is a great source of nitrates which, when converted in the body, can help to relax and dilate blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure. It can also help to improve oxygen uptake by the muscles, which can contribute to improved sporting performance.
In fact, one study found that beetroot juice could lower blood pressure in as little as 24 hours!
You can learn more about the health benefits of beetroot and how to cook beetroot over at A.Vogel Talks Food.
Alternatively, you could try Biotta’s fantastic Beetroot Juice – a 100% organic beetroot juice with absolutely no added extras.
Roasted Beetroot Dip
Creamy Beetroot & Radish Soup
Turmeric for inflammation
This vibrant yellow spice has more benefits than just its delicious flavour! Turmeric is a particularly potent anti-inflammatory and this is important because inflammation is a common problem today. It can be caused by poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, pollution and alcohol consumption – things that many of us are exposed to for most of our lives!
This chronic, low grade inflammation can then lead to the development of a range of health problems including arthritis, asthma, allergies, IBD, and even depression.
Turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory properties mean that it could be useful for anyone suffering from any of these health issues. It’s also full of antioxidants, which help to protect the body against free radical damage.
You can add turmeric to smoothies, protein shakes and even hot chocolates and coffee, as well as, of course, meals like stir fry or curry. You can also try a turmeric supplement, but bear in mind that these are often difficult for the body to absorb and make use of, and sometimes only as little as 1% is actually absorbed.
For people looking to try a turmeric supplement, I would always recommend BetterYou’s turmeric oral spray, as it is specially designed to absorb through the cheek membranes, meaning much more of this vital supplement can be used by the body! You can buy this from our friends over at Jan de Vries.
The importance of balance
While all these foods have fantastic health benefits, it’s important to look at your diet and lifestyle as a whole. This is known as holistic treatment, and is one of Alfred Vogel’s most important principles.
For example, if you’re worried about blood pressure, I’d definitely recommend including beetroots or beetroot juice in your diet, but I’d also recommend watching your salt intake, avoiding junk food and fatty foods, watching your stress levels and incorporating some gentle exercise into your day.
When it comes to health, unfortunately there is rarely a one-stop miracle cure to any health issue!
For some more tips on staying healthy in your 50s, read my article on 10 healthy habits for every man over 50.
Originally published on 6 October 2017 (updated on 6 September 2018)