Genetic nutritionist and What IF Plan founder Kate Llewellyn-Waters reveals the restorative foods women in their 40s should be eating.
Reaching your forties isn’t just a milestone – it’s a time when the way our bodies process what we eat begins to change. It becomes harder to lose weight and we need to make sure our diet is full of the right foods for optimum health. As a nutritionist, I often treat women who struggle to lose weight or want more energy. I tell them eating just 100 less calories a day can help them get slim and feel great about their bodies again.
Another effective option is Intermittent Fasting, which I created new diet The What IF Plan around . It’s the world’s first personalised fasting programme based on your DNA. One of the phases involves fasting overnight and skipping breakfast – it’s so easy to lose and maintain weight loss, as you’re asleep most of the time!
And there’s more good news. There are certain foods you can eat to help your body age gracefully. These are my top five:
WHY? Dubbed the world’s best anti-ageing agent, this ancient spice is full of antioxidants, which can help reduce skin ageing and the occurrence of wrinkles. Eating turmeric helps stimulate new cell growth and if you suffer from skin problems like psoriasis or eczema, it works as an anti-inflammatory reducing redness and swelling. It can even reduce the inflammation associated with obesity and you a fat burning boost. Rich in vitamin C, which promotes collagen production, it keeps our skin looking firm and supple. And if that isn’t selling it to you, it’s also been seen to play a significant role in treating Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
EAT it in curries, add it to scrambled eggs and soups or drink it in a turmeric milk latte.
WHY? Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines and herring can help reduce inflammation in our joints, which is something we can start to struggle with post 40. Like turmeric, these fish oils are anti-inflammatory aiding skin conditions and helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Just remember some people require more omega-3 than others (a simple DNA test will reveal your individual
EAT oily fish 3-4 times a week for best results. And the best news? Sashimi
WHY? As we age, we need more antioxidants to promote elasticity in the skin and prevent the appearance of ageing. And if ourskin is plumped up it will appear more natural and dewy. Thebrighter, more colourful the vegetables, the more antioxidants so make a rainbow on your plate.However, if you have a genetic high
sensitivity to carbs, concentrate on eating less starchy vegetables.
EAT yellow peppers, carrots andbeetroot. Cooking destroys enzymes;minerals and vitamins so eat veg raw.
WHY? Hormonal changes play a big role in women’s digestive health issues. As you near menopausal age, bloating, gas and a shift in your bowel movements may become more common. Combat this by eating ‘gut friendly’ fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and live natural yoghurt – full of millions of good bacteria that help your stomach process food efficiently and keep your digestive system on track. NB. Live yoghurt isn’t great for people who are lactose-intolerant. Swap for goat’s of sheep’s yoghurt instead.
EAT live natural yoghurt with fresh berries for breakfast and add sauerkraut to salad plates.
WHY? Oestrogen is essential for regulating your periods as well as bone, hair, skin and heart health. Low levels equal mood swings, low libido and even a slow metabolism. Beat this by adopting a diet rich in phytoestrogens. These plant-based compounds create a similar effect to oestrogen (which is made in the
body). NB. Avoid phytoestrogens if you have had breast cancer or have been advised to keep your oestrogen levels low.
EAT cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower.