Healthy eating and proper nutrient balance is key for all decades of life—here are the extra diet changes by decade your body needs.
In your 20s: Hone healthy habits
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Your 20s are a tumultuous time that some even consider the toughest decade of their lives, the Guardian reports. Although this age can be challenging, it’s the optimal time to set yourself up for future health and nutrition success, according to Malina Linkas Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s best to be proactive and establish a healthy lifestyle at a younger age than it is to grapple with the consequences of unhealthy eating and living later in life, Malkani says. “Consequently, the top three ways to set yourself up for life-long optimal health during your 20s are learning how to cook healthy meals you enjoy, establishing a routine of regular grocery shopping and meal planning, and building a variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet,” Malkani says.
In your 20s: Stockpile the calcium
The older people get the harder it is for the body to absorb calcium from the foods they eat, according to Alyssa Ardolino, RD, Nutrition Communications Coordinator, International Food Information Council. Peak calcium absorption is thorough to take place during adolescence and our 20s, which can improve bone mass and amy decrease the risk for osteoporosis later in life, she says. These are the doctors visits you need to make at every age.
In your 20s and 30s: Focus on folate
If you are a female who plans on having children during your 20s or 30s it is key to eat for optimal fertility, Malkani, creator of the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle says. Eating a healthy, appropriate diet prepares the body for pregnancy. Malkani has a few nutritional recommendations including maintaining a healthy bodyweight, limiting alcohol, and avoiding cigarettes. Another specific tip from Malkani is to meet the recommended dietary allowance for folate (400 mcg per day). Ardolino adds that folate-rich foods like leafy greens, asparagus, and fortified grains may decrease the risk of having a baby born with neural tube defects—and it’s best to build up your folate stores in advance.