As you get older, your body’s need for certain vitamins and minerals change. This can happen for several reasons:
- Your metabolism slows down, so you may have less of an appetite. This can affect your nutrition.
- Food may taste different—in particular, sweet and salty flavors are the first to diminish with age. This can change what types of food you eat.
- As you get older, you may have less access to food. For instance, poor mobility means you aren’t able to go to the grocery store as often.
- Chronic health conditions may change your need for certain vitamins and minerals.
For all of these reasons, it’s important to take a look at what you’re eating every day if you’re a senior or if you’re caring for a senior. You’ll want to make sure you get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals that become more important with age. Here are four vitamins and minerals that become more important when you’re a senior. Try your best to get these vitamins and minerals from food sources, but check with your health provider to find out if you may need a supplement in addition to what you eat.
1. Vitamin B12. B12 becomes more important with age as it helps with nerve function and assists the body in forming red blood cells. Many seniors are low in vitamin B12 because your body absorbs less of it with age. Adults of any age should get 2.4 micrograms/day of vitamin B12. Food sources include animal products, fortified grains and cereals, and nuts and seeds.
2. Calcium. Want to build better bone health? Calcium is one of the key building blocks. You have a higher risk of osteoporosis as you get older, and you’re at a greater risk for bone fractures from falls. Consuming more calcium can help address these risks. The RDA for calcium is 1,000 mg/day for males 51 to 70 and 1,200 mg/day for females age 51 to 70 and all adults over age 70. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, and so are green, leafy vegetables.
3. Vitamin D. Vitamin D also plays a role in supporting bone health, and it assists the body in absorbing calcium. Vitamin D absorption gets harder with age. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU (15 mcg) a day for adults 51 to 70 years old and 800 IU (20 mcg) daily for those over age 70. Food sources for vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, egg yolks, and foods like milk and cereals that are fortified with vitamin D. Sun exposure is also a potential source for vitamin D, but many doctors don’t support getting vitamin D from the sun, due to the risk of sunburns and skin cancer.
4. Magnesium. Magnesium helps your muscles and nerves to work properly. It also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. However, many older adults are deficient in magnesium. Adult men should get 420 mg of magnesium a day and women, 320 mg/day. Green, leafy vegetables; breakfast cereals, whole grains, and beans are good sources for magnesium.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care ManagementAt Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.