As you age, your body changes and it becomes more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals. Not only does your body need these nutrients for general health and well-being, but they also play a role in preventing age-related conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, and memory loss.
In this article, we’ll look at the vitamins and minerals that are most important for older adults, and we’ll give you a list of foods that are high in these nutrients.
Which nutrients are key for older adults?
As your age increases, your needs for certain nutrients become more important to get.
Older people who are living well in their retirement or in their Golden Years need a little extra calcium to maintain bone health. To get that extra-needed health supplement, choose foods high in calcium, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, other fortified foods, and juices high in calcium, such as orange juice.
Older people may not be able to ingest enough B-12 vitamins. The cereal for breakfast, the lean meat for dinner, and seafood for lunch are good sources of Vitamin B-12. It may be helpful for people to ask the doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist how to take this vitamin.
According to researchers, high blood pressure can be controlled when adequate calcium and potassium are taken in together. Good sources of potassium include fruits and vegetables.
Also, limit your intake of sodium and fat in your diet. Add herbs and spices to boost the flavor of your foods and consume nuts, seeds, avocados, vegetable oils, and fresh fish to boost your diet. Don’t eat foods with lots of saturated fat to decrease your risk of heart disease.
The 5 Best Supplements and Vitamins for Seniors
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, your doctor may recommend dietary supplements. These supplements can add nutrients and vitamins to your diet as you age or can help lower your risk of health problems such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
Almost 3 in 4 Americans 60 and over (74.3%) take supplements, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vitamin supplements might be the best way for some seniors to stave off some of the effects of aging.
A study published in the Journal of The American Geriatrics Society in 2010 found that people who took daily vitamin C supplements were 30% less likely to develop arthritis. Vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant, which may help protect against certain diseases linked to aging.
Taking a vitamin D supplement can lower your risk of age-related conditions, including osteoporosis and falls. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2012 found that older people who took daily vitamin D supplements were 30% less likely to develop fractures. Also, if you want the extra vitamin D you need, you must make healthy choices, such as fatty fish, eggs, and fortified foods and beverages.
Older adults who take calcium supplements have a lower risk of hip fractures and may be less likely to develop osteoporosis. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associations in 2014, people who took daily calcium supplements had a 25% lower risk of osteoporosis compared to those who did not take calcium supplements.
This antioxidant can help slow the aging process. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associations in 2014 found that older adults who took vitamin E supplements had a lower risk of heart disease.
This vitamin can help your bones stay strong. A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2012 found that older adults who took vitamin K supplements had a lower risk of osteoporosis.
How to select the best supplements?
If you’re looking to add supplements to your diet, it’s important to research the ingredients in any dietary supplement you might be considering taking. Look for a product that contains ingredients you can pronounce; make sure the product is made with natural ingredients; and look for a product that is free of harmful additives.
If you’re already taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, it’s important to check with your doctor to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients, and that you’re not taking any medications that could interact with your supplements.
Supplements for osteoporosis, arthritis, and other frailty conditions
If you have osteoporosis, osteopenia, or arthritis, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking certain supplements. Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones lose density and strength and can break. Osteopenia is a condition where your bone density is just a little bit lower than osteoporosis, and arthritis is a condition where your joints become stiff and painful.
If you have osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about taking a calcium supplement, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin B12. Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for your bones to stay strong and healthy, while vitamin K and B12 are necessary for your blood to clot. If you have arthritis, talk to your doctor about taking multivitamins. A multivitamin provides a variety of vitamins and minerals — and may help you to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency.
If you’re looking to take a vitamin or mineral supplement, you should also be checking to make sure you’re not getting too much of a particular vitamin or mineral. Routinely taking too many vitamins and minerals can hurt you.
Talk with your doctor about any supplements you’re taking and the dose you’re taking, too. That way, your doctor can help you keep doses in a safe range.