As one makes their way into the 50s, their body significantly changes due to many hormonal fluctuations. One’s eating habits and capacity, particularly transitions. Decreased food intake and medications can take a hit on a senior’s health, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with the body’s nutritional demands. Vitamins and nutrients are essential for seniors to ward off diseases like osteoporosis, cardiac disorders, and dementia. If dietary nutrition seems to be inadequate, then one should try using supplemental vitamins.
Here are some of the most important supplemental vitamins every senior should consider taking.
- Calcium and vitamin D
Bone loss, especially in women picks up the pace once they turn 50 or after menopause. Therefore, it is critical that women use calcium supplements to maintain their bone mass and reduce susceptibility to fractures. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is not just vital for calcium absorption but also crucial for fortifying the immunity. Moreover, it helps prevent chronic pain, heart diseases, and even lowers the risk of some types of cancers. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, the body’s ability to synthesize this nutrient reduces with age. Therefore, seniors should ensure that they use a supplement comprising both calcium and vitamin D.
Some of the best dietary sources of calcium are figs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Fatty fish, organ meat, egg yolk, and cheese are rich in vitamin D, however, they might not be sufficient enough to make up for any nutritional deficiencies.
- Vitamin B12
As one progresses towards their 60s, the intestines become increasingly inefficient, leading to low absorption of vitamins and minerals. This inhibits a senior’s ability to get adequate nutrients like vitamin B12 from diet alone. Even a mild form of B12 deficiency significantly increases the risk of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Therefore, seniors should annually or biannually get their B12 levels evaluated so that any deficiencies can be caught early and corrected with the help of supplements.
Clams, beef, fatty fish, eggs, fortified cereals and milk, and cheese are some foods abundant with vitamin B12.
- Vitamin C
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C is instrumental in identifying and eliminating free radicals that maim healthy cells. Moreover, this nutrient also lowers the risk of heart disorders and age-related macular degeneration as well as boosts immunity. For instance, one may still catch a cold even after taking vitamin C supplements, however, the symptoms will be milder, only lasting for a brief period. While many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, seniors, especially who smoke might need supplemental vitamins to keep the nutrient levels stable.
Broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, mustard spinach, cherries, kale, and papayas are few of the many sources of vitamin C.
There are many supplemental vitamins available in the market. However, prior to using any of these seniors discuss any possible side-effects with their doctor, especially if they have any health issues or are already on medications. Likewise, one should check online reviews to gauge effectiveness and safety because unlike other forms of medications or prescription drugs, they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).