Ayurveda and Nutrition for Women in their 40s: 15 Eating Habits to Improve Wellbeing
While we cannot stop or control aging, we can slow the process with smart choices. Graceful aging is any women’s desire. Ayurveda understands that one’s nutritional and hydration requirements needs a boost when women enter their 40s. Kapha’s may face bloating, sluggish energy, weight gain or find it hard to lose weight due to slower metabolism, Pitta’s may experience hot flashes, skin flare ups or heart conditions and lastly, Vata’s may go through frequent constipation, anxiety, sleep deprivation and joint pain. Hormonal changes can imbalance the Doshas. Therefore, smart eating and making a few lifestyle changes will ease the transition into 40s.
As women we are prone to decreased metabolic rate, lower estrogen levels, low vision, inelasticity in veins and blood vessels, mood swings, muscle loss (especially near the belly), the risk of heart conditions, cognitive decline, hair, and bone loss are higher.
If you are still not aware what your dosha is, then you can take the quiz here.
Eating Smart in your 40s:
- Eat half full: Do not be full after your meals or overeat. You must leave some room or eat half full to the stomach. Stop eating right away if you feel that your heart is beating faster than usual. Especially Kapha and Pitta dosha people should pay attention to the changing of their heart beats while eating.
- Eat mostly cooked: According to Ayurveda, cooked foods are best for digestive health. This is more so for Vata and Kapha dosha imbalances. Eat steamed, baked, boiled or sauteed 80% of the time. Additionally instead of deep frying, try the air fryer or ovens that come with an air frying feature.
- Eat a Variety of Colorful Vegetables: Eating seasonally and eating variety is highly recommended in Ayurveda. More colors add various kinds of antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients.
- Eat Fruits Consciously: Eat no more than 2 servings of fruits that are low in the glycemic index. Try to eat seasonally and ensure variety in your diet as much as possible.
- Eat Protein: Eat small amount of protein rich foods in each meal. Vegetarians can try eating beans (including soy), lentils, nuts, or seeds with their meals.
- Eat Fats: Add oils, nut/seed butters or fatty fruits such as, olives, avocados into your diet. Avoid any hydrogenated oils and choose virgin oils. Try adding olive oil in your salads. Kapha’s or if you are prone towards high estrogen or weight gain or even have had painful periods, then avoid dairy foods such as, milk, yogurt, cheese, ghee, butter, cream, or kefir. Usually dairy is ok for Vata or Pitta dosha.
- Avoid Factory Processed Foods: Do not to consume packaged, frozen, and dehydrated foods filled it hydrogenated oil, sugar, high salt, artificial-sugars, food color, fillers, additives, and chemicals. However, if you have a guilty pleasure do balance out with more water or a bit of fasting.
- You must try to eat calmly, not when stressed, depressed, anxious, multi-tasking or otherwise distracted.
- See a nutritionist occasionally to personalize your diet, especially if struggling to maintain good health. For a consultation with me check out this page.
- Avoid Caffeine: You must let go or reduce caffeine significantly as it dehydrates you and can cause hormonal imbalance. Drink water and herbal teas instead. In the west even medicinal mushroom beverages are also available.
- Practice Mindfulness: Ensure you eat well 80% of the time. However, when with friends and family enjoy and let go a little where you can.
- Avoid Sugar: Add honey (not for Pitta), jaggery or stevia instead of any white or brown sugar as well as any artificial sweetener. Sugar is particularly harmful for Kapha dosha imbalances.
- Less Salt: If you are cooking your own meals reduce salt intake by half. It will be painful initially however the pay off is very high If you like to snack then make them at home. Homemade potato chips (esp. air fried) will be much better in quality than store brought. Eat vegetables high in potassium so balance electrolytes.
- Hydration: There is no substitute for water. Filtered or spring water is preferred. Warm or room temperature water is best for Kapha and Vata while cold water is good for Pitta. Although hydration is important however, during meals, right before or after meals drink less water or avoid.
- Last but not the least – fast occasionally for 16-18 hours. Especially if you are a Kapha who is insulin resistance, overweight or have hormonal imbalances such as, low thyroid or estrogen excess.
To make full use of these tips, incorporate them 1 or 2 at a time in your lifestyle. When going out with friends and family be mindful but do not be too strict. Enjoy a little and let it go.
There are many benefits of the following the above tips. You can stay fit and light, reduce the chances of heart disease, if pregnant in your 40s then you must increase certain other nutrients. If you follow these tips, you also reduce the chances of diabetes and kidney disease.
Customize your Diet:
If you need a custom diet to combat your current health condition you can book a consult with me. Custom diets help to reduce inflammation, pain, identify food intolerance to improve digestion and balance hormones. Custom diet also combats nutrient deficiencies such as, iron, calcium, and D3. I have also designed diet plans for people who have cancer, diabetes, kidney disease or arthritis in their family to prevent the same through lifestyle and food choices. One of the best features of a custom diet it works with your current health and lifestyle. Choose package 2 from my health consultation packages for a nutritional protocol and a meal plan.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet in your 40s:
- Eating half full to the stomach gives you the ability to combat changes in metabolism such as, slow, sluggish metabolism and weight gain.
- The same also strengthens Agni or the digestive fire for better digestion.
- Adding probiotics and fats will improve brain function, mood, memory, and focus.
- Including nuts, seeds, and berries will build up immune system, bone density, and improve sleep.
- Adding dark leafy greens improves calcium and iron intake, B vitamins and chlorophyl in your diet.
- Reducing salt and sugar will improve metabolism, digestion, balance hormone, combat water retention, and contribute towards weight loss if required.
- A variety of fruits and vegetables will provide fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. This will result in better liver and kidney function, stronger immune system, and glowing skin.
- Better nutrition also result in less anxiety, nervousness, and depression.
Try the Buddha Bowl recipe from my channel.
Eat Right for Your Body Type:
I wrote an e-course called 21-Day Eat Right for Your Body Type. This is an informative course that assists with decoding many health mysteries and wrong notions. If you are serious about your health and want to avoid fad diets and want to learn more about the science behind health and nutrition then the Eat Right for Your Body Type is the right E-Course for you! This 21-Day information filled course based on Ayurveda and Nutrition. It can help you combat chronic diseases, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain and depression. I cover everything from food sourcing, meal planning, herbal supplements, to emotional healing and reasons behind food cravings. This complete e-course will be administered solely through your email or in a PDF form. However, for deeper health challenges and custom design protocol and meal plan a consult with me would be more suitable.
A few Extended Tips:
Try a New Grain:
Gluten free grains such as quinoa, teff and millet are packed with nutrition, protein. and fiber. Eating whole grains can lower the chances of belly fat than refined grains.
Up your Essential Fatty Acids:
If you are a vegetarian or vegan the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are from chia seeds, seaweeds, flax seeds, and hemp seed oil. Purchase a good quality plant-based Omega 3 fatty acid as well as have Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids to add to the diet. In a personal, one on one health consultation, I suggest both my male and female clients how best to add EFAs in their diet and what would be the best source for them.
Don’t forget Fiber:
One major part of carbohydrate rich food is its fiber. Fiber promotes digestion, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, promotes healthy weight, and increase healthy gut bacteria. Although fruits, vegetables and grains contain fiber in various amounts, it is important to add extra fiber as you are in your 40s. Psyllium husk, flax seed and chia seeds are my top choices to add extra fiber. Apple, pear, avocado, artichoke, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, beet, and peas also carry good amount of fiber.
Please let me know which of the of the tips you will try first. What have you changed recently that improved your metabolism? And always speak with your primary health care professional before making any major change in your diet.