Eating right and staying active are important no matter what your age. As we get older our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health.
As the years go by, it can become more difficult to get the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy and active. Fortunately, dietary supplements can fill the gaps that make it harder to get nutrients from food.
Finding the best vitamins for seniors means understanding what causes vitamin or nutrient deficiencies. The best way to do this is to consult Dietitian or physician who can conduct blood tests to determine your supplement needs. Many older people experience deficiencies in vitamins such as calcium, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Some seniors with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s may also need additional nutritional supplementation.
If you wonder what types of vitamins are most commonly recommended for older adults, here’s a list of the best vitamins for seniors.
Calcium & Vitamin D
In older adults, Calcium & Vitamin D helps to support skeletal health by building and protecting bones. Research shows vitamin D may also help to prevent diseases that cause cognitive decline, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, research indicates vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of other vitamins such as calcium and may play a role in preventing falls.
B vitamins are essential for healthy nerve function, heart health, and blood pressure. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing B vitamins such as vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 deficiencies have also been linked to brain disorders. B12 is important for creating red blood cells and DNA, and for maintaining healthy nerve function.
Vitamin C plays a key role in immune system health and metabolism. It may help prevent cataracts and decrease vision loss associated with age-related macular degeneration.
Omega 3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are healthy fats that play a role in energy, healthy vision, and smooth joint function. There are three main types of omega fatty acids, including DHA, EPA, and ALA. Research shows omega fatty acids may help to reduce pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest omega fatty acids may also help to decrease the progression of macular degeneration, a condition that affects the eyesight of many older individuals.
Also known as Coq10, this antioxidant is naturally produced in the liver. As we age, our livers become less effective at producing this antioxidant, and it’s difficult to find it in food sources. Low levels of Coq10 have been associated with heart disease and may benefit older individuals in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
Getting enough potassium in your diet may also help keep bones strong. This essential mineral is vital for cell function and has also been shown to help reduce high blood pressure and the risk of kidney stones.
Fiber helps promote healthy digestion by moving foods through the digestive tract. Foods rich in fiber, including whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, have many other health benefits, including protecting against heart disease.
Besides a healthy diet, it’s important to stay connected and get regular exercise.