Important Nutrients in your 30's & 40's - Performance Kitchen

Of course, you want to meet your daily requirements for all vitamins and minerals, regardless of your age. However, certain nutrients may be especially important during different decades of your life.

 Your 30s

The 30s are a busy time when it’s common to juggle a demanding work and home schedule and perhaps an active social life. It’s also a time when many people are thinking about starting a family. Here are some of the nutrients to focus on in your 30s.

Folate is involved in DNA synthesis and cell division, which is why it’s so critical when trying to conceive. Good sources of folate include leafy greens, such as spinach and romaine lettuce, beans, and 100 percent orange juice. 

Omega 3 fatty acids are predominantly found in seafood, walnuts, and certain seeds, such as flax seeds and hemp seeds. The typical western diet is lopsided in the amount of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. The best scenario is when these nutrients are balanced in a 1:1 ratio. 

Omega 3 fats have numerous benefits for people in their 30s. For example, they’re involved in a fetus’s brain development and they may enhance sperm health. The science isn’t settled, but omega 3 fats may also play a role in reducing the risk of mood disorders, including anxiety and postpartum depression.

Slow burning carbohydrates are the type of carbs found in fiber-rich sources, such as beans, fruits, and vegetables. Carbohydrates from these foods provide steadier energy than carbs from heavily processed grains and sugary foods. When you eat slow burning carbs, you’ll avoid the energy slump you get after eating fast burning carbs, like baked goods, chips, and white sandwich bread. If you need to focus or stay active, slow burning carbs are the ones for you!

Calcium is best known for its role in bone health. You don’t want to wait until you’re 50 to start thinking about this, so make sure you’re getting adequate calcium in your 30s. The best sources of calcium are dairy foods, but you can also find it in certain plant foods, such as almonds and chia seeds. If you’re not consuming dairy foods, make sure your dairy alternatives are fortified with calcium.

 Your 40s

Many of the same nutrients that are beneficial in your 30s are also crucial in your 40s. For example, calcium is as important as ever, so be vigilant with your calcium intake or discuss supplements with your healthcare provider.

Omega 3 fatty acids may help lower the risk of mood disorders, and your 40s are a time when mood disorders can surface. So try to eat seafood twice per week and snack on omega-3-rich walnuts and seeds.

And, of course, slow burning carbohydrates from fiber-filled plant foods will help people in their 40s maintain their energy levels. 

Here are some other nutrients to consider in your 40s. 

Fiber is required at every life stage. Still, as you age, your GI system may become sluggish and you’re more prone to constipation.  On top of that, fiber helps maintain a healthy gut environment. Your microbiome is tied to immune function, mood regulation, and weight management. These issues are often top of mind in your 40s.

Fiber is only found in plant foods, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Magnesium is abundant in whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, beans, seeds, and dark chocolate. This mineral is required to maintain a healthy heart rhythm and healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Plus, it’s involved in managing your stress response and supporting healthy sleep patterns. Be sure you’re filling your plate with magnesium-rich foods to minimize the chances of sleep, mood, and other health problems.