Getting up there in age? We all are! It’s nothing to be ashamed of! Embrace it.
With that being said, as we age, our bodies need certain vitamins and minerals that will ultimately make our aging that much more glorious.
Knowing which vitamins and minerals to consume is part of maintaining one’s health as they grow older, making this article relevant to anyone over the age of 65. Use this list of important vitamins and minerals to ensure your body is properly fueled as you age!
We’ve all heard the line about milk making bones stronger, but what does that have to do with aging? There are a multitude of reasons why calcium is fantastic to consume when you’re over the age of 65, but one of the best reasons to make sure you’re getting enough of it is because if you’re not, your body will derive the calcium it needs from your bones. As you age, your bones will typically become more brittle than ever before, giving prime reasoning to ensureyou’re taking enough calcium either in your diet or through the use of supplements.
Strong bones become ever more important as you age because if you break a bone when you’re older, there is a good chance that you’re going to affect your overall quality of life. No one wants his or her body creaking and moaning, meaning it’s definitely a wise choice to incorporate enough calcium in your diet. Achieving enough calcium in your diet can involve the consumption of a variety of low-fat milk products or even some vegetables. Broccoli and kale are relatively high in calcium and there are even some juices that are fortified with calcium. Eating foods that are rich in calcium is the best option but if you need to get more than your diet allows, supplements are the next best thing.
2. Vitamin B12
While your diet might have enough B12 in it, the fact of the matter is that as you get older, your body will not absorb it as well as it used to. Younger people tend to absorb vitamin B12 with ease and as they age, this absorption rate declines significantly. Eating more foods that contain a lot of B12 is essential to living a healthy lifestyle as you age. Some sources that contain higher concentrations of this stuff include eggs, milk, milk products, poultry, and meat. If you feel that you might not be getting enough, it’s a good option to contact a doctor to find out if you should start taking supplements.
3. Vitamin D
Older people usually do not get anywhere near enough vitamin D, but it’s actually quite easy to involve it even in the strictest of diets. There are a lot of products that contain this vitamin, including but not limited to milk, some yogurts, juices, and cereals. There aren’t many foods that vitamin D occurs in naturally, but it is found in eggs, tuna, and salmon. Even with it being known that vitamin D is essential for health, a lot of researchers are amidst a debate regarding the level of vitamin D that should be evident for optimal health. There are some experts who believe that vitamin D supplements are necessary for the elderly due to the fact that the aging process makes it so the skin is no longer as efficient at producing it using sunlight, but this is not proven fact as of now. The big issue with a lack of vitamin D is that it assists the body in absorbing calcium, allowing the body to maintain its bone density and prevent osteoporosis in the process. It’s also believed that vitamin D may also protect the body from cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
4. Folate or Folic Acid
Most people know what folate is but if you don’t it’s an essential B vitamin that pregnant women usually take to avoid having a baby that has a neural tube problem. This is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables, but you can also get it from fortified breakfast cereals. If you’re not consuming these foods, it’s likely that you’re not consuming enough, meaning you should start on a supplement or begin eating more foods that have it. When people over the age of 65 do not have enough of this in their diet, they are at a higher risk of anemia. With anemia being common in the elderly, taking in enough folate or folic acid is imperative for a healthy lifestyle as an aging adult.
Are you bananas about bananas? Good! Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and this is something that people over the age of 65 should include in their diets. The mineral is important for cell function and has even been
known to assist in reducing high blood pressure as well as the likelihood of kidney stones. This can assist in keeping your bones strong as well. While bananas are well-known sources of potassium, a variety of other fruits and vegetables containing it as well. These include but are not limited to plums, potatoes, and prunes.