While cancer and heart disease might not have been huge concerns for you a few years ago, your risk for both jumps as you move into your 40s and beyond.

In fact, cancer is the number-one killer of women in their 40s and 50s, and heart disease comes in at number two. Diabetes and stroke also creep into the picture as you move into your 50s and 60s.

While not always fatal, autoimmune diseases - rheumatoid arthritis in particular, but also lupus, Crohn's disease, celiac disease and multiple sclerosis - disproportionately affect women in midlife and beyond, per a 2015 study in Women's Midlife Health.

Blame a slower metabolism and shifting hormones for many of these health risks, says dietitan Felicia Stoler. If you're still following the diet that worked for you during your 20s and 30s, you're headed for trouble, she says.

Experts say adding plenty of the following foods to your diet - particularly if it means replacing some of your current less-than-healthy foods (like your morning muffin) - can help you avoid the health issues most likely to strike during your 40s and beyond. 

© prevention.com