As an individual grows older, his or her dietary needs change, and those alterations in body chemistry and nutritional needs can eventually result in deficiencies. If you want to remain as healthy as possible over the years, then you need to make sure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from a varied diet. Here is a quick look at four nutrients that are going to be vital to your overall health as you age.
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that helps with many biological functions, and it can be found in animal products and fortified grains. According to Global Healing Center, B12 is critical to cardiac, bone, and neurological health, and plays an important role in healthy aging. When you don’t get enough of this vitamin, you can experience a variety of health complications, including heart murmurs, chronic lethargy, nerve damage, and severe mood swings. In order to get plenty of vitamin B12, try to have a few servings of eggs, poultry, and fresh fish every week.
In addition to being good for the heart and lungs, vitamin A also plays a major role in your immune system. An ongoing vitamin A deficiency will suppress the production of white blood cells and make it much more difficult to fight off infections. MBi Nutraceuticals advises eating carrots and sweet potatoes as vegetarian sources of vitamin A, but this nutrient can also be found in organ meats like liver and kidney.
One of the reasons why many doctors suggest that seniors take calcium supplements is because this nutrient is vital to bone strength. Countless seniors fall every year, and those accidents often result in bone fractures. Furthermore, Premier Dental Alliance points out that calcium is also important for tooth health, especially in strengthening the jaw bone and preventing teeth from falling out. To improve their bone strength, older adults must eat plenty of nuts, beans, and leafy green vegetables to keep calcium reserves well-stocked with this vital mineral. Calcium can be found in many dairy products as well, but steer clear of the ones high in saturated fat.
Vitamin D deficiencies are extremely common, and according to Mercy Medical Center, that number is speculated to be around 42 percent of all Americans. Older adults who don’t get enough vitamin D could develop life-altering medical problems including chronic kidney disease and osteoporosis. Luckily, this vitamin can be found in a wide variety of tasty and healthy foods, including mushrooms, fresh fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk.
While most of your vitamins and minerals should come from your diet, you might also want to consider taking high-quality, food-based supplements. Your metabolism is going to change as you grow older, and those supplements could help you avoid dangerous nutritional deficiencies if your diet isn’t perfect. Consult with your doctor to see which supplements would be most beneficial for your body’s needs.
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