The everyday vitamins seniors need
As a result of age-related changes in the body, different vitamins and nutrients are needed at every stage of life. When we get older, the focus is often on preventing osteoporosis and other common ageing issues. While vitamins are best sourced from a healthy, balanced diet, some seniors can find themselves limited by a reduced appetite, difficulty finding the right foods and potential problems with chewing and digestion.
In these cases, supplements can do a great job at making up the difference, but make sure to always talk to your doctor about the best solution for you and your health before getting started. It’s also essential to check that any supplements won’t interfere with other medication being taken.
Here are some of the most common, everyday vitamins seniors should be looking out for:
Vitamin D: Some seniors may find they’re not getting enough sunlight to produce optimal amounts of vitamin D, and this deficiency can contribute to osteoporosis. Vitamin D is important for strong bones, as well as protecting against auto-immune disorders. Sunlight is the best sources, but it can also be found in foods such as salmon, egg yolks and mushrooms.
Vitamin B12: As we age it can be harder for the body to absorb vitamin B12, which helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy, so focusing on getting more may be necessary. This can be found in foods such as liver, sardines, and eggs.
Calcium citrate: This is particularly important for post-menopausal women, as their ability to absorb calcium falls. Calcium-rich foods include fortified cereals, cheese, milk, and yoghurt.
Folate: Helping produce red blood cells, a folate deficiency can cause anaemia and make you feel weak and lethargic. This can be found in leafy greens, lentils and bananas.
Probiotics: They’re not technically vitamins or minerals, but probiotics have been reported to support digestive health and help the immune system. They can be found in fermented food and drink such as miso, sauerkraut and kimchi.