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Most nutritious foods for different ages

Eating right helps you stay healthy, but that means eating differently at various stages of your life.

On "The Early Show" Thursday, Frances Largeman-Roth, senior food and nutrition editor at Health magazine, showed the best foods for your 30s, 40s, and 50s, to meet your nutritional needs at any age.

IN YOUR 30s

You're balancing work, babies, fitness, and friends. You'd win the gold for multi-tasking!

Must-haves for women:

IRON - You need 18 milligrams of iron each day to help you steer clear of anemia and to boost your immune system.

Eat: Beef, pork, and bison (90 percent lean) and red and black beans

FOLIC ACID - Trying to get pregnant? Folic acid is key: Getting 400 micrograms daily will help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida.

Eat: Oranges, asparagus, and leafy green veggies

Eat: Vitamin-packed fortified cereals like Total, which has 100 percent of your iron and folic acid requirements in one bowl. Other options: Wheaties, Multigrain Cheerios, Special K, Product 19

Must-haves for men:

VITAMIN C & OTHER ANTIOXIDANTS - Many men in their 30s begin thinking about having a family. Vitamin C promotes healthy fertility (vitamin C is the most predominant antioxidant in the sperm of fertile men).

Eat: Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, red bell peppers for Vitamin C

Eat: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, squash for more antioxidants

IN YOUR 40s

Your job, your kids, and your aging parents all need you more than ever now. Plus, those long walks no longer keep pesky pounds off. You need nutrient-rich, low-cal foods.

Must-haves for women:

FIBER AND POTASSIUM - When your metabolism slows down, you'll need to fill up on fewer calories. Also, cholesterol levels and blood pressure can go up as you get closer to menopause, which sets you up for a greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fiber and potassium will fill you up with few calories and are also packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals. (25 grams of fiber and 4,7000 milligrams of potassium per day)

Eat: Whole grains are a great source of fiber and potassium, but so are fruits and veggies are an even better low-calorie option during this age, when packing on pounds can be all too easy. Get at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of veggies every day, too. Go for strawberries, bananas, and peas. Other options: blueberries, mango, peaches, apples, spinach, cherries tomatoes, and kale.

Must-haves for men:

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS - Protect against heart disease, some cancers, and arthritis. Two servings of a fatty fish per week can lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

Eat: Salmon, halibut, walnuts, flax seeds

IN YOUR 50s:

You're finally in control of your life. Now if only you could get your hormones to behave!

Must-haves for women:

PHYTOESTROGENS - Want to ease menopausal symptoms? Plant-based estrogens may help ease those hot flashes. They also may lower your risk of breast cancer.

Eat: Cashews, corn, apples, and soy. Pure sources of soy include edamame, tofu, and soy nuts.

Must-haves for men:

FIBER - Men typically get their first colonoscopy at age 50. This is the right time to be mindful of colon health and start eating the right foods that can protect you. Fiber can prevent colon cancer, and promotes healthy digestion in everyday life.

Eat: Fill up on whole grains (whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, and corn) daily. Two cups of popcorn or ½ cup of oatmeal equals a serving. Shop for foods that have the Whole Grain Stamp for at least a half-serving of whole grains. Fruits and veggies are another good source.