While researching, I found an interesting statistic – an increasing number of baby boomers (adults over 55 years old) are going vegan, predominantly for health and ethical reasons.
Protein is a nutrient that I pay more attention to as I approach 60 since it’s so important for maintaining muscle and bone mass.
It’s not at all difficult to get enough protein, but as an aging vegan I need to put a little bit of extra emphasis on legumes, making sure I consume at least 3 servings per day.
Some older vegans may do better with even a little more than that.
It’s important to choose protein-dense foods, particularly those that are high in the amino acid lysine.
These are legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas, soyfoods, and peanuts.
Most older women will need at least 3 servings while men need 4 of these foods each day.
It’s not hard to consume that amount, since a serving is just 1/2 cup of beans, tofu, hummus, soy milk or 2 T of peanut butter.
But it does mean that some women may need to emphasize legumes over grains.
One of the main advantages of a well-planned plant-based diet is its rich nutrient profile, which may be even more important as we age.
Vegans eat more fiber and less saturated fat and have diets that are richer in antioxidants, so there are some definite advantages to eating this way as we age.
I evolved from lifting weights to using my own body weight doing Vinyāsa flow yoga while lifting 2 times a week.
It is functional and much more effective way of strengthening every muscle in my body.
I hope I’m visual proof that being vegan long-term is beneficial for not just our minds and our bodies, but also for our self-respect as a species.