LOTS of people say their appetite changes a bit as they get older, but did you know your nutritional needs might change too?

If the answer's 'no', you're not alone - according to new research from Nestle Health Science and Meritene (who make nutritional shakes), three-quarters of people in their 50s aren't aware they need more protein, with 60% also not knowing how much protein, vitamins and minerals they're already getting.

"As we get older, our body uses proteins, vitamins and minerals differently, so ensuring we have enough of these nutrients in our diet to support good health is important in order to maintain a busy lifestyle," explains nutritionist Juliette Kellow. "Unlike younger generations, who are very protein-savvy, people in their 50s are less likely to consider protein a priority, with only 23% thinking they need more of this nutrient in their diet than in previous decades.

"However, it's vital we get enough to maintain muscles and normal bones."

Getting plenty of protein also plays a role in maintaining energy levels and helping you feel less tired.

Nadia Sawalha, TV presenter and cookery book writer - who has created a series of recipes using Meritene - says: "I love being in my 50s and I'm packing in so much more than I ever did when I was younger, both personally and professionally. It's a really exciting time, but it's not all plain sailing as it does come with challenges. I need my physical health and energy levels to keep up with what I want to do, as I can often feel tired and not as full of energy as I used to.

"Understanding that my nutritional needs are changing as I get older means I must fuel my body with what it needs to keep up with my bonkers life. I didn't realise that my tiredness could've been helped by having certain nutrients, like vitamin B2, B6, C and Iron, in my diet."

How to get more protein in your diet

Swap your yoghurt - plain Greek yoghurt is packed with far more protein than your average yoghurt.

Boost it with lentils - bulk up soups and stews with protein-full lentils.

Add nuts - if you're having a salad for lunch, add a handful of unsalted nuts to pep it up.

Skip cereal - swap your usual cornflakes for scrambled or dippy eggs and a protein hit first thing in the morning.

Step away from the mayo - instead of spreading sandwiches with butter and mayo, use hummus for extra flavour and extra protein.

Change your meats - having ham or salami in your sandwich? Swap them out for healthier, protein-heavy lean meats like chicken and turkey instead.

Peas with everything - for a green veggie, peas are very high in protein, and what meal isn't improved by a side of peas?

For more information and to view Nadia's recipe videos, visit meritene.co.uk