Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in Senior Health
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for seniors that the body needs in order to develop and function properly. Getting your daily recommendation of nutrients will help the body function as it is supposed to and help you stay healthy as you age.
The known vitamins include vitamin A, C, D, E, and K and the B vitamins. There are also several essential minerals for proper health including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, iron, zinc, iodine, and more. The best way to get these vitamins and minerals in an easy way is to eat an assortment of different foods. As different food groups have different nutrients.
While many may elect to get their vitamins from pills, it is usually better to get your nutrients from food. This is because nutrient-dense food contains other things that are good for your body, such as fiber.
Essential Vitamins For Seniors
Vitamins are essential for body growth and making sure it is functioning and working the way it should. They help resist infections, keep the nerves healthy, and help your body get energy. All vitamins are important, including:
If you are 50 or older, it is good to get at least 15 micrograms of Vitamin D each day. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the stomach and helps with bone growth and bone remodeling from osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without enough vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle. For older adults, vitamin D and calcium can help protect them from osteoporosis. Vitamin D can come from a number of sources including fatty fish, fish liver oils, fortified milk, and certain cereals.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in certain foods. Vitamin C is involved in a number of different functions in the body including the synthesis of collagen, upkeep for neurotransmitters, and is involved in protein metabolism. It is recommended that adults get at least 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day. Some of the most prominent sources of the vitamin include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes. It should be noted that there is some evidence that suggests that maintaining healthy vitamin C levels can be effective in protecting against age-related cognitive decline.
According to the National Institute on Aging, older individuals need about 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day. This can come from several different sources including meat, fish, milk, and some cereals. Vitamin B12 is important as it is required for proper red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. Deficiency of the vitamin can lead to issues like fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, confusion, and more.
Vitamin A is involved in a number of different body functions and regulations including immune function, vision, and cellular communication. It is recommended that women get at least 700 micrograms of vitamin A a day while males get 900 micrograms of vitamin A each day. Vitamin A can be found in many different foods but has very high concentrations in liver and fish oils. Other prominent sources of vitamin A are milk, eggs, and more.
Minerals Important for Seniors
Minerals are important for helping the body stay healthy and help with keeping the bones, muscles, heart, and brain working correctly.
According to The National Institutes of Health, calcium is the most abundant mineral in the entire body. It is found in foods and added in other ways such as dietary supplements. Calcium is needed for vascular contraction, muscle function, and more. However, a majority of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.
Sodium is a very important mineral for Americans’ diets. While sodium intake often comes from salt generally during the preparation process for foods. Sodium is an essential mineral as it aids in fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nervous system function. We all need sodium, however, too much sodium can lead to issues like high blood pressure, which can cause issues like a heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Iron provides a number of different functions in the body, it helps with growth, development, and functioning of cells, synthesis of some hormones, and provides oxygen to the muscles. While iron is most important during the developmental stages of life, it is still a requirement for older adults. It is recommended that seniors get at least eight milligrams of iron a day. The richest sources of vitamins include lean meat and seafood.
Potassium is an essential nutrient and is required for normal cell function. It is recommended that women consume at least 2600 milligrams of potassium a day while males get at least 3400 milligrams a day. The nutrient is found in an abundance of different plants, animal foods, and beverages. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium including soybeans potatoes, and more.
While getting all these essential nutrients for seniors will help you stay healthy, there are certain things that are unavoidable as we age. Aging can bring about a number of different problems including vision issues, hearing impairment, movement disability and more. These problems can worsen over time and even lead to other major health risks like falls, fractures, and more, all of which require hospitalization. Unfortunately, these issues can become severe enough to require the help of a caretaker or an assisted living facility in order to live a healthy day-to-day life.
Landmark Senior Living is one assisted living facility in Hobbs that can help you or your loved one as they enter the next chapter of their life. Landmark has a number of care facilities all with dedicated staff who are committed to providing each and every one of our residents with the services that they require. Landmark offers a number of care services including memory care to help those who are dealing with issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you are interested in what Landmark has to offer and would like to learn more about our facilities, please reach out to our website and schedule a complimentary walkthrough.