As we age, what our bodies require can shift. This includes the types of vitamins we consume, and how much we consume. Having a nutrient or vitamin deficiency as an older adult can cause significant effects on overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamins help us resist infections, keep our nerves healthy, and help our bodies get energy from food, among other jobs. Woodland Ridge in Smyrna, Georgia, is sharing a few of the best vitamins for seniors and how they can impact body and health.
Vitamin D: Maintaining Overall Health
Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for any individual, yet it can be common for older adults to have a deficiency of this vitamin. During a sample study conducted of 125 participants, 75 years and older, 44% of the men and 24% of the women were found to have a severe vitamin D deficiency. On the opposite end, only 2% of the male participants and 11% of the female participants had normal vitamin D levels.
Having a diet rich in vitamin D can help produce stronger bones, improve heart health, and lower the risk of conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The health benefits of vitamin D are important for older adults, and building and maintaining healthy and dense bones can help avoid serious injury should a fall occur.
If you’re curious about food sources rich in vitamin D, Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides an annual, comprehensive list.
Vitamin B12: The Energy Vitamin
Decreasing energy levels are another common occurrence for older adults. Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins that help the body convert the food we eat into glucose, which gives us energy.
As we age, our body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 can change and decrease which can be caused by various medications and/or surgeries. For example, those who take acid-reflux medications may be at a higher risk of developing a B12 deficiency. Most older adults can prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency by eating plenty of meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.
Vitamin K: Promoting Bone & Brain Health
Recent findings concluded that increased intakes of vitamin K help reduce bone loss and fracture risk among older adults.
Increased blood levels of vitamin K in seniors have been linked with improved episodic memory.
Furthermore, the body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting agent that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism. This vitamin can be commonly found in leafy green vegetables like kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and spinach.
Other Beneficial Nutrients
While these vitamins for seniors can help prevent or improve certain conditions, they aren’t the only nutrients that aid us in leading a better, healthier lifestyle. Similar to vitamin k for bone health, calcium is beneficial for older adults for a similar reason. Calcium is a mineral that helps regulate our bone mass and promotes healthy, strong bones.
Potassium is another essential nutrient as it is required for normal cell function. Foods with the highest milligrams per serving of potassium include apricots (dried), lentils (cooked), and prunes (dried).
There are many beneficial and necessary vitamins for seniors, and the best vitamins for older adults depends on their situation and current health. Before making drastic changes to a diet, we encourage you to speak with a healthcare professional.
If you found this blog article informative, we recommend visiting Woodland Ridge’s blog for more information regarding senior health and healthy aging.