In the 30s, the onset of age-related muscle loss slows down our body’s metabolism and calorie requirements begin to decline. So, if women keep the same eating pattern in their 30s as they did in 20s, it tends to result in the body producing more fat and less muscle and eventually, one gains weight.
Basic things to keep in mind:
1. Calcium: During this phase of life, our bone density decreases as our body’s ability to build new bone slows down. Consuming foods that contribute to bone health become paramount as we enter this decade of life. Good sources include low-fat dairy products, calcium-rich foods like milk and milk products, soy milk, almonds, broccoli and leafy greens, salmon, legumes, firm tofu, tahini and cooked green vegetables such as spinach.
2. Energy Intake: According to United States Department of Agriculture, a 30-year-old woman should consume about 1500 calories daily, if she lives a sedentary lifestyle. Trim calories from refined, starchy foods, sweets and sugars added to beverages and foods, instead rely on more fibre rich foods and complex carbohydrates like Oats, Barley, Quinoa, Brown Rice etc.
3. Magnesium: Women should also focus on magnesium, a mineral that helps generate energy for the body, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar and maintain strong bones. At the age of 30, daily requirements increases i.e. women should consume 320 mg of magnesium. To increase the intake of magnesium one must eat, almonds, cooked spinach, cashews, and plain yoghurt.
4. Focus on Antioxidants: Vitamin and mineral requirements increase in the 30s, so foods high in vitamins C and E, should be included in the diet which helps to fend off harmful free radicals. Free-radical damage is thought to contribute to ageing and many chronic diseases. Excellent sources of vitamin C include red and green bell peppers, citrus fruit, kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries and tomato juice. Vitamin E is plentiful in wheat-germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, sunflower oil and peanut butter, berries and leafy greens, wine and dark chocolate.
5. Keeping Iron Content High: A study led by Laura E. Murray-Kolb at Pennsylvania State University found that iron deficiency affected cognitive functioning in women. The research, published in March 2007 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” looked at the link between iron and mental function in women aged 18 to 35, and found that women with greater iron intake performed better and more quickly on cognitive function tests. Therefore, one should consume 18 mg of iron daily from sources like lean beef, pumpkin seeds, soybeans chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, avocados, orange juice and breakfast cereals.
6. Vitamin D: This nutrient helps our body to absorb calcium, keeps our immune system strong, protects against breast and colon cancers, and even prevents hearing loss. But by the time we reach our 30s, levels of D quickly start to plummet. “There’s no way to get enough vitamin D from our diet because very few foods contain it, so the best thing to have: a daily supplement of 600 to 1,000 international units once a week and expose ourselves to enough of sunlight.
7. Fibre: It reduces bloating and makes us feel fuller for a longer time period, as well as “fibre helps decrease cholesterol and risk for colon cancer”. So one should aim for a mix of soluble (from fruits, vegetables, barley, and oats), and insoluble fiber (from whole wheat, fruits and vegetables and bran).
Overall, the ideal diet will reflect the basic points of healthy eating — lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. And it is always advised that you should take an expert suggestion before making any dramatic changes to your diet.