The adult years set the framework for quality of life as well as life expectancy. Nutrition and food related behaviours are key factors, and the earlier prevention becomes the goal, the better the outcome. The thirties could be characterized by increasing responsibilities to and for others, including having children, caring for family, building a career, and involvement in community. They start concentrating more on nutrition of kids and start compromising their own interests. The idea of balancing work time with leisure also can be a part of the reasons adults use for not exercising, not cooking, for eating on the run, ignoring nutrition guidelines, or skipping meals. So, here is the ultimate diet plan for 30s by Dr. Karuna Singh, Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics at School of Allied Health Science, Sharda University.
The adult years offer unique opportunities to evaluate health status, build on positive factors, and change the negative factors that affect quality of life. Lifestyle choices, including activity, lay the framework for health and wellness and avoid various lifestyle related diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc.
Men and women continue to develop bone density until roughly age 30. Muscular strength peaks around 25 to 30 years of age. After 30 years of age certain physical changes become more apparent:
- There is decline in size and mass of muscles and an increase in body fat.
- Dexterity and flexibility decline, as well as sensory and perceptual abilities.
- Positive energy balance resulting in increase in weight and adiposity
- Fat redistribution stated like gains in the central & intra-abdominal space and decrease in subcutaneous fat.
Nutritional health can be viewed as a continuum from: “Healthy” and resilient state moving towards Terminal state where body system shut down and life ceases. Hence a positive wellness focus may influence the health of not only the adult but also those in his or her sphere of influence. The reproductive years constitute a significant stage of a woman’s life. Many issues that affect the health of women are related to the monthly hormonal shifts associated with menses (reproductive cycle).
Key Nutrients of this age need emphasis
Foods to strengthen bone mass
Bone health is one of the biggest concerns for women in their 30s. Managing it with health eating and stating at early age start can manage problems like osteoporosis or arthritis in the future. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial nutrient to maintain bone strength. Foods that contain these include dairy products such as milk and yogurt, green veggies, fish such as sardines and salmon with bones and nuts like almonds are good options.
Foods that contain antioxidants
Free radicals stimulate the ageing of tissues, and to combat them, antioxidant rich foods are super helpful. Antioxidants also help to ward off heart disease and prevent changes in DNA, potentially preventing the development of cancer. While phytonutrients come from plants, dark chocolate, red wine, and coffee are highest in them. Green, black tea and coffee, Berries, especially blueberries can be a great choice.
Foods that help to sleep better
A good amount of sleep is must to keep body fit and healthy. Sleep is extremely crucial for optimum functioning. A glass of milk in the night goes a long way. Using Almond, walnuts, and fatty fish as a source of omega 3 will also help in good sleep and relaxation of body. It is necessary to have minimum of 6–8-hour sleep to get our body refreshed.
Foods that help to keep the blood pressure in check
Hypertension has become a part and parcel of daily life. To avoid any damage and maintain heart health this age is the right time to eat heart healthy diet. High intake of salt (sodium chloride) is associated with high blood pressure. All foods contain sodium. Sodium requirements can be met with moderate salt intake. Sodium intake needs to be balanced by potassium intake. Reduce table salt and eat potassium-rich foods as they help to keep the blood pressure in check. These include potatoes, beans and tomatoes in the diet.
Foods rich in folic acid and iron
It’s critical that women take care of folate for supporting a healthy pregnancy, preventing neural-tube defects and helping the body make new cells. Folate may also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Eat foods such as chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, avocados, orange juice, and fortified whole grains to help meet folic acid requirements. Young women who were deficient in the iron may have difficulty in reproduction phase, physical outcome. Plant foods like green leafy vegetables, legumes and dry fruits contain iron. Iron is also obtained through meat, fish and poultry products. Iron bio-availability is poor from plant foods but is good from animal foods. Vitamin C - rich fruits like gooseberries (Amla), guava and citrus improve iron absorption from plant foods. Beverages like tea bind dietary iron and make it unavailable. Hence, they should be avoided before during or soon after a meal.
Manage fat consumption
Eat foods rich in alpha-linolenic (ALA) acid such as legumes, green leafy vegetables, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Eat fish more frequently (at least 100-200g /week), prefer it to meat, poultry and limit/ avoid organ meats such as liver, kidney, brain etc. Egg has several important nutrients but is high in cholesterol. Hence limit the consumption to 3 eggs/ week. However, egg white may be consumed in good amounts. Minimize consumption of ready- to- eat fast foods, bakery foods and processed foods prepared in hydrogenated fat. Use fats and oils in moderation and consume varieties of foods to get good proportion of all fatty acids for optimal health benefits
Meal patterns that support optimal nutrition intake and health include:
- Maintenance of maintaining ideal body weight and avoid overeating to prevent overweight and obesity as it further increases the risk of various life style related diseases.
- Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight.
- Consumption of five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Restrict salt intake to minimum.
- Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
- Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats.
- Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets for proper metabolism of food
- Avoidance of foods high in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids
- Inclusion of high-fibre foods in diet.
- Inclusion of probiotics and antioxidants in the diet.
- Limited intake of refined carbohydrates
If you are into your 30s, you must follow this diet plan to keep you healthy and disease-free. This can maintain your overall well-being in the long run.
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