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5 Foods Every Midlifer Needs To Start Eating Today

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WATERMELON
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From kale to quinoa to kombucha, we've had our fill of the hype surrounding so many new-age 'superfoods' that are as difficult to incorporate into our diets as they are to pronounce. In middle-age you'll have very specific nutritional needs and health concerns on the horizon. Here are the foods that will help you fight off aging (and they taste pretty good too.)

  • 1
    Almond Milk
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    A common health risk associated with aging is osteoporosis. As many as one in two women and one in four men over 50, will break a bone due to the brittle bone disease at some points, according to the National Institutes of Health. There are three known ways to keep your bones strong; exercise, get plenty of vitamin D, and get plenty of calcium.

    The good news is if you can't stomach dairy or only like milk with your cereal, try almond milk. Just one serving of most varieties of unsweetened almond milk has fewer calories and plenty of calcium calcium. Plus many varieties also provide you with a good dose of Vitamin D.

    Besides being yummy in smoothies and shakes, try using almond milk in your baking in when recipes call for milk, like french toast or bread pudding.
  • 2
    Fish
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    If you aren't squinting at your smartphone or having trouble reading your Kindle, you're lucky. The risk of cataracts and macular degeneration commonly increases with age, so fight back with your diet.

    Fish, particularly salmon, is rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which can also help reduce your cholesterol and arthritis pains. But you may not have known that salmon is also a superfood when it comes to eye health. It's loaded with niacin, which studies have shown can cut your risk of cataracts. One study showed a significant reduction in the risk of macular degeneration with just one serving of fish per week! One less pot roast and one more fish filet, please.
  • 3
    Watermelon
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    We don't all like to talk about it, but at some point or another, many of us will experience a loss of libido as we get older. And while we might turn to strawberries and champagne and oysters to turn up the heat in the bedroom, it's the old picnic favorite that will really do the trick.

    Texas A&M researchers discovered that several nutrients found in watermelon, including citrulline, which the body converts into arginine, are good for your libido. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it," researcher Bhimu Patel said in a statement. We'll have a slice or two of watermelon -- or should we call it the love fruit?
  • 4
    Bananas
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    Your risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age -- but unlike what you may have heard, you can do more than just watch the salt. It's also about upping your potassium, the mineral which helps your body regulate sodium. Studies have shown that eating potassium-rich foods can boast the same benefits as taking a supplement. We love our peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
  • 5
    Prunes
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    Yes, we know, these are the most stereotypical foods for us older folks -- but hear us out! Many of us have encountered the, ahem, middle-age spread. We diet and exercise, but scale just doesn't seem to budge and it seems our spare tires are here to stay.

    A little fiber could help move things along (we had to). A British study found the fruit can help with weight loss efforts and help keep you feeling full. Dieters who ate prunes daily (about 3.5 ounces) shed more weight and inches around their waists compared with dieters who were simply educated on healthy snacking. Plus, with 7 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces, prunes are a tastier way to get your 25-38 daily grams of fiber, than Metamucil.

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