Healthy eating is an important habit to maintain for your entire life, particularly for diabetics. However, as you age, the nutrients that your body needs will change, so it's important to update and transition your diet. Here are a few of the top vitamins and minerals diabetic individuals should eat their 40s and 50s:


Estrogen production slows down in your 40s and 50s, so eating foods that mimic the effects of estrogen in your body may help reduce some of the more nagging symptoms of low estrogen. Because diabetes may also be caused by large hormonal imbalances, women should be particularly aware of their estrogen levels. Foods like bran, black beans, garbanzo beans and flaxseed are all great sources of phytoestrogen, and should be a larger presence in your diet.

Meal ideas:

Add flaxseed to smoothies to give them a little extra thickness without any change in taste.

Replace your traditional burger patties with those made from black beans. The beans are also more heart-healthy than traditional beef patties, which may help diabetic individuals more easily maintain cardiovascular function.

For breakfast, swap out your regular muffin for a bran one with bits of dried fruit like cherries.

Anti-inflammatory foods and spices

Joint tissue becomes weaker and less prevalent in your 40s and 50s, which may lead to joint swelling and less flexibility. Diabetics also may have mobility issues due to circulation problems, so taking steps to remain active is key. Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties may help diminish any pain associated with less joint fluid and flexibility.

Meal ideas:

Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel all have great anti-inflammatory properties and are a delicious entree for lunch or dinner.

Spices like turmeric and ginger both have anti-inflammatory properties as well, and may be used to season veggies and meats in your stir-fries for added taste and joint benefits.

Hydrating foods

Higher amounts of sugar in the bloodstream can prompt diabetics to have to urinate more often, which can lead to dehydration. Similarly, older adults also lose water content in their tendons, making them more stiff. To help keep your body's water levels at their optimum levels, supplement the glasses of regular H2O you drink with water-filled foods.

Meal ideas:

At 96 percent water, cucumbers are a great healthy veggie to munch on. Cut circular slices and put them in a bag with carrots and celery for a healthy midday snack that's also refreshingly hydrating.

Spinach is rich in fiber, vitamin E and lutein, and at 91 percent water, it's a great base for a vitamin-rich salad. Add in other high water content veggies like broccoli, green peppers and radishes.

To learn more about diet and nutrition:

Powerhouse Foods That Prevent Chronic Disease
Sugar or Fat — What's Worse?
Foods that fight inflammation

Harvard Health Publications
Organic Gardening
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