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Nutritionist reveals the 15 superfoods to eat to slash risk of silent killers

by Editor

Dr Federica Amati

Dr Federica Amati speaking on ITV’s This Morning about the foods we should be eating more of (Image: ITV)

A top nutrition expert has revealed the exact “superfoods” we should all be eating at the various stages of our lives. According to Dr Federica Amati, these foods could help ward off silent killer conditions such as high blood pressure, heart issues, and dementia.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning the nutrition scientist Dr Amati, revealed the best way to reap the benefits of these foods.

She explained: “What foods make us really healthy and nourish us does change as we age.

“Often we have this idea that a fixed diet is what we need to stick to for the rest of our lives and I’m trying to connect to the idea that we actually evolve and we change.”

She added: “Our physiology changes and so different foods support us in different ways at different life stages and embracing that change instead of trying to resist it and saying, ‘Why can’t I eat the same things? ‘ ‘Why can’t I feel as good as when I ate this 10 years ago?'”

Man having a heart attack

Men are more at risk of heart disease, she warned (Image: Getty)

Dr Amati also advised against strict calorie counting, saying it tells us “nothing” about the nutritional value of food.

“Calories are a metric – they tell us nothing about the nutritional value of food,” she said.

“They tell us nothing about how good that food’s going to taste and they tell us nothing about how you individually are going to use that food.

“It’s useful in research but I would say for everyday calorie counting often takes the joy out of food and it doesn’t steer us towards foods that are good for us and nourish us.”

Instead, we should be focusing on what we can add to our plates rather than taking it away.

“We know from global data looking at hundreds of thousands of people that actually the risk factors that are associated with food and health, it’s not so much eating too much red meat or eating too much saturated fat, it’s eating not enough of wholegrains, not enough legumes, not enough nuts and seeds and not enough fruit,” she said.

Variety of green vegetables on white background. Healthy food. Close-up. Selective focus.

She urged women in their 40s to eat more leafy greens (Image: Getty)

“The data is really clear that what we’re missing is adding these foods onto our plates. Focus less on what you can’t eat and focus more on adding food to your plate.”

So what are the superfoods she recommends adding to our meals? According to Dr Amati, these are:

  • Leafy greens
  • Beetroot
  • Black beans
  • Aubergine
  • Blackberries and blueberries
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Oats
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains
  • Kefir
  • Nuts
  • Oily fish.

However, it is important to note the ages we should be eating more of these foods.

In your 40s

At this stage of life, women will be starting to experience the menopause and men need to be mindful of heart disease, she said.

Dr Amati said: “There is an idea that healthy eating always comprises lots of fruit and vegetables – we don’t get enough of those anyway as a nation. But there are specific foods that are really helpful for specific outcomes.

“In our 40s women are often starting to feel the effects of postpartum so having children that nutrient depletion that does take place and frankly being quite tired. And also experiencing the beginnings of perimenopause.”

Cottage Cheese Toast with Creamy Avocado

Eating avocado could help lower blood pressure, she said (Image: Getty)

“Eating really rich leafy greens like this support lots of micronutrient content – help us feel better and support our gut health. In men what we need to be really mindful about preventing heart disease.

“Men are at higher risk of heart disease. Now these colourful beetroots and dark black beans and aubergines all contain polyphenols which are these helpful plant chemicals that really protect our vascular system and our heart health.”

In your 50s

She urged people to “go even harder” in their efforts to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Dr Amati said: “Women typically post menopausal in their 50s, we know that colourful berries like blackberries and blueberries really help with managing symptoms.”

She advocated for a diet rich in colourful vegetables to alleviate menopause symptoms.

And for men, she recommended vibrant, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower for heart health and cholesterol reduction, and pressed oats as well.

She also suggested swapping out butter and lard for extra virgin olive oil in all cooking.

In your 60s

This is when we start to see a rise in diet-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and strokes.

“We can prevent these not all of them but a lot with our diet,” she said.

Dr Amati advised eating plenty of potassium-rich foods for hypertension – recommending avocados, fruits, wholegrains and beans.

She added: “We don’t talk about this age enough. They absolutely need to watch how they’re eating and make sure they’re having three nourishing meals a day. Our hunger levels start to go down so we’re less sensitive to hunger in this age group.”

Dr Amati also recommended adding kefir to your diet, saying: “It supports your gut health but it’s also higher in protein and other essential nutrients.”

She then endorsed nuts and oily fish for their omega-3 content, which is beneficial for brain health.

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