Keep your body healthy as you age with helpful information about nutrition for seniors. Start with these 6 important nutrients.
Good Nutrition for Seniors Equals Graceful Aging
Nutrients, which include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water, are important to your everyday health at any time in your life, but especially as you reach your golden years. As you age, your body will go through changes that can affect the amount and type of nutrients you need to stay as healthy as possible.
To help you manage your health conditions and prevent illness, your doctor can identify the best ways to approach nutrition for seniors by telling you which nutrients your body needs and the best way to get them (through food or supplements). In general, older adults will want to ensure they are achieving the best nutrition for seniors by getting enough of these 9 critical nutrients in their diet.
Vitamin B12 is essential in creating red blood cells and sustaining healthy nerve function. To ensure a healthy amount daily, both men and women need 2.4 mcg. You can add B12 to your diet through fish, shellfish, meat, and dairy products, but many individuals will need a supplement because their bodies don’t absorb enough B12 from diet alone.
According to WebMD, “Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin.” This nutrient helps form red blood cells and produce DNA. Having too much within your diet can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, but too little can cause anemia.
In general, the perfect amount of folic acid is 400 mcg for both men and women. Taking vitamins would be one way to hit the mark with this nutrient, but you can also get folate by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables or by filling your bowl at breakfast. Many cereals are enriched with folate, making it easy to begin your day fueling your body with this nutrient!
Calcium helps keep your teeth and bones healthy, is needed to achieve a normal heartbeat, and can help with blood clotting. Men need 1,000 mg every day, with men age 71 and older needing 1,200 mg per day. Women need 1,200 mg at the age of 50 and older. Taking calcium supplements can be beneficial and it may be easier for you to track how much you’re getting. But you can also get calcium in low-fat milk and other dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium, which can help you maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Studies have also shown it may help protect against certain chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and several autoimmune diseases. Your body gets vitamin D from the sun and foods like salmon, tuna, and eggs. Both men and women need 600 IU from ages 51-70 and should increase to 800 IU after 71 years of age.
The immune system is directly affected by this nutrient. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds are all great sources of magnesium, which is a must when considering nutrition for seniors. For a healthy dose, men need 420 mg, while women need 320 mg.
It is recommended nutrition for seniors to eat fish twice a week to help with blood clotting, cell division and slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Taking fish oil supplements has also been shown to lower the chances of a second heart attack.
Knowledge is power. Get more information about nutrition for seniors through these links: