The Importance of Daily Vitamins and Minerals for Seniors
Regardless of age, ensuring that the body receives adequate vitamins and minerals each day is vital. These nutrients work throughout the body supporting organs, cells, bones, the immune system, brain function, and much more. They are essential for proper growth and development too. As people age, their bodies require different amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. While not getting enough can lead to deficiencies, getting too much can also be detrimental. It’s important to find the right balance.
There are a few vitamins and minerals that are especially important for seniors to pay attention to as they get older:
Vitamin D: The body naturally synthesizes vitamin D from the sun, but seniors may have more trouble with this. They also may not spend as much time outside as they once did. Vitamin D not only supports the immune system and can help reduce cancer risk, it is also a critical component in helping the body to absorb calcium.
Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bones and reducing risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin B12: All of the cells in the body benefit from vitamin B12, and it plays an important role in brain and spinal cord health. As seniors get older, their bodies may not absorb this vitamin as efficiently, meaning higher doses are beneficial.
Iron: Low iron levels can lead to anemia and low energy. Anemia decreases the ability of the body to circulate oxygen from the lungs to other cells.
Potassium: Potassium contributes to strong bones, helps to lower blood pressure, and may decrease risk of kidney stones.
While many people immediately think to reach for a daily vitamin or supplement, one of the best ways for seniors to increase daily vitamin and mineral intake is through their diet. Incorporating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, salmon, eggs, whole grains, and vitamin fortified foods is a good place to start. In some cases the body may not produce enough on its own, or diet may not be enough to overcome a deficiency, in which case supplements may be necessary.
Before adding any vitamins or minerals to the diet, it is important for seniors to talk to their doctor and figure out what is best for their body. Certain medications or medical conditions may require special consideration. Getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals each day help the body to stay stronger, fight off infection, and work as effectively as possible. Seniors can feel great and remain active for years to come by taking good care of their bodies.
If nutritional supplements are necessary, an in-home aide can provide reminders so that seniors take their vitamins as directed. They can also support healthy physical activity, assist with meal planning and preparation, and help with a variety of other tasks that allow seniors to continue living as independently as possible in a safe environment. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, call Always Best Care at (855) 470-2273 today.