Why Nutrition is Important at Any Age

Many of us know Nutrition is important but in our younger years feel like it’s something we don’t have to really pay attention to until we’re older. We look at our body size and activity level and if it seems pretty good, shrug it off as not a priority right now.

I’ve often thought I was doing everything I needed because I ate balanced, which consisted of coffee, something for lunch and meat and veggie for dinner. Between me feeling like I ate a balanced meal and stayed active, I was good. I mean, I’ve kept up walking throughout my life and I worked out on and off.

What I wasn’t considering are the effects of our nutrition beyond our body size and activity level. Nutrition plays a huge role in keeping energy levels up and helping prevent age-related illnesses and diseases.

Rachel E. Smith

The foods you eat contain a certain amount of nutritional value. Depending on how healthy and balanced you’re eating will determine the amount of nutrients your body is receiving from your diet. These nutrients affect your brain, muscle, bone, blood circulation, nerves, skin and immune system.

Having a nutritional balanced diet is healthy at any age. For any diet type you choose, one that contains the majority of plants will always provide the most nutritional value, especially as you age.

One of the most popular plant-based diets right now is the Mediterranean diet. Being 41 and noticing a little bit of a difference in my energy levels and skin, I decided it was time to look up some ways to take care of myself better.

I had also begun running 3-10 miles 3-4 times a week during this time and really saw how much more  my body required not only for higher energy levels but to help, along with weight training the build up of muscle in my legs,  prevent injuries along with stretching and easing into adding miles to my running.

Even though I hadn’t bought a physical Magazine in years, I picked up one talking about the Mediterranean diet at the airport. I dove into the articles on the plane ride home from vacation and by the time we landed, I couldn’t wait to get to meal planning and grocery shopping for the new nutritional journey I wanted the whole family to embark on.

This was a big deal for me, “the self proclaimed meat eater”. I had for years been telling everyone how you can eat according to your blood type and according to a book I read years ago, my blood type O was a meat eater and I have been backing that claim up ever since with my diet. Not saying that the book isn’t true, but I wasn’t getting my protein in the healthiest most digestible ways available. I opted for lots of chicken and steak. The hardest part about the Mediterranean diet for me is I don’t like seafood and so NEVER eat fish. I also wasn’t thrilled about beans, but would have to use all the other items in the Mediterranean diet besides fish to get enough protein. I have found some good recipes with Garbanzo Beans as the base that I would have never imagined I’d be eating.

Here’s a list of superfoods that are an extremely important part of your diet

  • Berries

  • Fatty Fish

  • Leafy Greens

  • Nuts

  • Olive Oil

  • Whole Grains

  • Yogurt

  • Cruciferous Vegetables

  • Legumes

It is recommended to vary on the cooking method to help ensure you’re getting most of the nutritional value possible. Eating superfoods raw is the best way to get the most nutrients; however, if you at least rotate between sauteed, boiled, baked and raw, you still should get enough nutritional value from your foods and be able to eat flavorful food from time to time.

Helpful tips to stick with a new diet

  1. Plan ahead 
  2. Have a separate grocery shopping and meal prep day  
  3. Getting rid of food items in your household that do not follow your new diet 
  4. Make sure you have quick grab and go snacks on hand or prepped

Remember, your new plant based diet has so many benefits to it. Keeping this in mind will help keep you on track. Being specific about why you’re doing it in the first place often helps people stay on track. Below are some of the benefits previously discussed. Which is your number one reason you believe you should embark on a plant-based or even just a better diet?

  • Prevent age related illnesses
  • Prevent age related diseases
  • Fuel body
  • Brain maintenance
  • Muscle maintenance
  • Bone maintenance
  • Nerve maintenance
  • Skin maintenance
  • Blood Circulation
  • Immune System

These are the foundations of the nutritional intake we need but as you go throughout life, your body will require slightly different nutritional needs. In the early years of life, the focus is on growth, development, function and creating good habits. As we age our nutrition plays a huge role in ongoing healthy function, maintenance and preventative care. Visit here to get a quick breakdown of some of the most nutritional needs at each stage in life.

I often write and talk about professional, family, spiritual and self development topics. Without the right nutrition, we are not at our best functioning state mentally or physically to perform our best professionally, have the capacity to be a good family member or have the balanced awareness to uphold our self development journey. Spiritually, our bodies are the temple, so we should be taking the utmost care of them. The reason I talk about all the topics I do instead of focusing on just one is because they’re all connected and affect each other. To be our best selves and have the best life, we must take care of all aspects of it.

Just like any other growth area in our life, a better diet for our nutritional gain will not be an easy journey but with the right knowledge of why it’s important, which priority is important to you, planning and having a support system and not giving up when you fall, I know you can do this and am proud of you for even seeking this information because it’s the first step. Choose the best nutrition journey for you, it doesn’t have to be plant-based. I will continue writing useful tips and dig into different types of eating and how to accommodate our lifestyles because it’s possible if you want it, so be sure to check back.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Vicki

    This is so relevant to my current situation. My inlaws had a terrible relationship with nutrition and physical fitness and were both diagnosed with dementia and other physical ailments. Getting them to eat healthier, at this stage, has been a battle. But this is a great reminder for me to keep taking care of myself.

    1. Rachel Smith

      I’m sorry to hear about your inlaws. Yes, I constantly have to remind myself as well. It’s ongoing but doesn’t have to be a miserable thing we deal with. The biggest thing is everything in balance and moderation.

  2. Pam

    Great article!

    1. Rachel Smith

      Thank You!

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