Everyone needs vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals help your body grow and support a variety of essential functions, such as helping you resist infections and keeping your bones strong. Not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals can also lead to a variety of health issues. Good nutrition for seniors is particularly important because, as people age, their bodies have trouble absorbing some vitamins and essential minerals, so it's important to monitor your intake and make sure that you're getting the right amount for your age and gender.
Some people may opt for a senior supplement such as Rite Aid Central-Vite Senior Multi-Vitamin Supplement to make sure they're getting their daily recommended allowance (RDA). However, though they may be convenient, most people don't actually need to take a senior supplement if they're eating a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet and following guidelines on proper nutrition for seniors. Here's a list of the vitamins and minerals that are especially important for older adults, along with information and ideas to help you make sure you're getting enough of each:
This vitamin, which can be produced naturally in the body through sun exposure, maintains healthy bones and teeth and helps your body absorb calcium. Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and depression.
Vitamin B6 helps form red blood cells, strengthen the immune system, and regulate blood sugars.
This B vitamin helps make red blood cells and keeps your brain and nervous system healthy. According to AARP, up to one-third of adults over 50 do not absorb enough vitamin B12 from food. B12 deficiency can lead to serious health issues such as anemia, as well as nerve and brain damage, reports Medical News Today.
This B vitamin (aka B9 or folate) is important for forming cells. According to MedlinePlus, folic acid is also used to help prevent heart disease, stroke, and memory loss.
Calcium is a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth. It can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, which is especially important for older women who are at higher risk for this disease, according to MedlinePlus.
By making sure that you're getting your RDA of essential vitamins and minerals, you can help keep your mind and body healthy. You should be able to get the vitamins and minerals you need through your diet, but if you think your diet may be lacking, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about choosing a supplement that's right for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
National Institute on Aging, Vitamins and Minerals
AARP, Vitamins from A to Z
Medicinenet.com, Vitamin D Deficiency
European Journal of Social Psychology, Vitamin D
Harvard Health Publications, Vitamin B
MedlinePlus, Vitamin B6
National Institutes of Health, Calcium Fact Sheet
USDA, Yogurt, Plain Low Fat
USDA, Slivered almonds
CNN.com, The Best Multivitamin for You—and 11 to Steer Clear From
Medical News Today, Vitamin B12 Deficiency
MedlinePlus, Folic Acid
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.