As we age, our metabolism changes and our bodies require different minerals and nutrients. Having a lack of these vitamins and nutrients in your diet as an older adult can cause low energy, low appetite, and a lower immunity level.
The Springs at Simpsonville in Simpsonville, South Carolina, understands the importance of vitamins for seniors. While it is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional to ensure you are getting the right nutrients for your body and health goals, we would like to share with you some knowledge on vitamins that offer the most benefit to seniors.
Supplements or Diet?
According to the AARP, many older adults take vitamin supplements, despite concerns that some supplements may clash with prescription medications. For this reason, the question becomes, “Should seniors take vitamin supplements?”
While supplements can certainly help, they can also prove to be an unnecessary risk, with over 20,000 people going to hospitals due to dietary supplement problems. These supplements can help with a vitamin deficiency, but in some cases, it can be a bandaid over the real issue at hand.
Benefits of Vitamin B12 for Seniors
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin as it helps our bodies create energy. B12 is one of the best vitamins for seniors, as it is a common deficiency amongst the demographic. This vitamin is absorbed from foods and dairy products. To increase this vitamin in your diet, seek out foods such as meat, eggs, yogurt, and poultry. A vitamin B12 deficiency can appear to be many things, and it has several risks associated with it. If you think you have a B12 deficiency, we recommend speaking to your primary physician before making any changes to your diet.
Vitamin D to Promote Bone Strength
Vitamin D, one of the best vitamins for seniors, is necessary for every stage of life. For some older adults, as their bodies age, their kidneys become less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, which can create a vitamin D deficiency.
You can combat this by adding a few different items to your diet. Items such as orange juice, fatty fish (also promotes a healthy heart), egg yolks, and cheese are typically high in vitamin D. Having a diet rich in vitamin D can help produce stronger bones, promote a healthier heart, reduce your risk of Osteoporosis, and can help boost your immune system.
Vitamin B6 and Brain Health
Vitamin B6 is another essential vitamin that can aid our brain in its development, and also helps maintain the wellness of our immune and nervous systems. This vitamin is vital for seniors due to the role it plays in helping prevent strokes and blood vessel disease. Vitamin B6 can be found in a wide variety of foods. To increase your intake of it, we recommend adding chickpeas, salmon, tuna, turkey, and starchy vegetables to your diet.
Beneficial Acids and Minerals
There are many vitamins for seniors that can help improve overall health and the strength of vital organs in our body, but there are also minerals and acids that we should also strive to include in our diet.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are among one of the best acids for our health, especially for older adults. These acids lead to reduced inflammation and can improve heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are common in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, but can also be found in food items like walnuts.
- Calcium is a vital mineral for our bodies that helps regulate the strength of our bones. This mineral becomes vastly more important as we age and become more susceptible to falls. While a calcium-rich diet may not prevent a fall from happening, it can help prevent it from evolving into a much more serious medical issue.
The best vitamins for seniors will vary from senior to senior. The Springs at Simpsonville in Simpsonville, South Carolina, highly recommends speaking to a health care professional to see which vitamins, minerals, or acids are necessary for you or a loved one so you can craft the ideal nutrient-dense diet.
If you found this article helpful and would like more information regarding senior health, The Springs at Simpsonville’s blog is the perfect place to visit!