As time passes and we get old, at that time our body needs some extra care with certain vitamins and minerals. Fruit, pulses, and vegetables are the primary sources of vitamins and minerals, and ideally, doctors advise us to eat plenty of them if we want to be healthy. But when you reach your 50s, then your body needs extra doses of vitamins and minerals.
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When your age touches the mark of 50, then your body starts facing a few hormonal changes and due to that the requirement of your body for vitamin and mineral increases. That’s why many older adults take vitamin and mineral supplements as per the doctor’s advice.
In this article, we will focus on those vitamins which you need when you reach your 50s.
There are many cases we see or listen that many people in their old age suffer a fracture that too from a minor fall. It happens because with age our bones lose calcium. It’s not just a tagline for a food supplement but a fact that with age bones get fragile. Many studies and researches have proved this. It not that our body suddenly start carving for calcium, but it starts absorbing less calcium from the food item that we intake. Men and women both need some extra dose of calcium in their 50s but women need to be more careful about the vitamin intake after menopause. Older people with proper calcium in diet have less risk of bone fracture.
If we talk about calcium-rich food then you can add milk, egg, poppy, and sesame seeds, cheese, yogurt, salmon, almonds, beans, and lentils in your food to make it calcium-rich. Remember that women over 50 and men over 70 need 20% more calcium than adults.
Vitamin D helps our body to absorb more calcium. In the absence of Vitamin D, our body could not absorb the required quantity of calcium and the result is weaker bones. Vitamin D is not only crucial for healthy bones, but it also reduces the risk of heart attack, asthma, inflammation, and allergy. For healthy nerves and the immune system, vitamin D is a must for us.
The primary and huge source of vitamin D is sunlight. Our body converts the sun rays into vitamin D, but with age, the capability of our body starts getting lower hence we could not get the required vitamin D from sun rays. For older adults, there are few supplements available that can be given in the case of lack of vitamin D in the body.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for our blood and nerve cells. A wide variety of animal foods have plenty of vitamin B12. Fish, meat, egg, milk, and other dairy products can fulfill your body’s requirement of Vitamin B12 easily. To absorb vitamin B12 from the food, our stomach needs hydrochloric acid. But many older adults could not have hydrochloric acid in their stomachs so they could not absorb Vitamin B12 from the meat and dairy products. Doctors suggest to people in their 50s to start taking fortified foods or dietary supplements so that their body would not face the lack of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B6 improves brain health, it fights against germs and gives more power to our immune system. Fortified cereals, soy products, organ meats, and whole grains are an excellent source of Vitamin B6. With age, our body’s requirement of Vitamin B6 increases. It has been revealed in a study that older people with high B6 in their blood have a better memory in comparison to those who have Vitamin B6 deficiency.
To keep the blood pressure stable, heart-healthy, and keep the immune system active, magnesium is required. Magnesium deficiency affects your bone density, brain functioning, and digestive system. In older adults, magnesium deficiency may increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables are the primary sources of magnesium. With age when your body starts absorbing less magnesium then doctors may suggest you some supplements in case of deficiency of magnesium.
Omega 3s reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s in older adults. Many pieces of evidence also suggest that Omega 3s keep the brain sharper in old age and prevent old people from arthritis, and muscular degeneration, which can cause blindness. To intake the Omega 3s, it’s better to have Omega 3s rich food instead of some supplements. Fish has a rich amount of Omega 3s. Walnuts, canola oil, and flaxseeds are also rich in Omega 3s.
Like all vitamins mentioned above and minerals, fiber is also an essential part of our body at all ages. But in old age, we need all types of minerals in some extra quantity because the vitamin and fiber absorbing power of the body reduce with time. If we talk about the benefits of fiber, then you must know that it protects you against strokes, prevent constipation, and lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fiber intake is important for older adults for healthy metabolism. Peas, beans, pulses, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, whole grain bread, oats, barley, and rye are some of the fiber-rich foods.
Potassium is required by almost all the internal parts of your body like kidney, heart, muscles, basic digestion, and nerves. The amount of potassium your body requires stays the same throughout all your life. The requirement of potassium doesn’t depend on your gender. The lack of potassium can cause kidney disease and severe flu. Doctors suggest eating more fruits and vegetables, raisins, orange juice, tomato juice, almond, spinach, and sunflower seeds to boost your potassium intake.
Selenium is an antioxidant, and it produces an active thyroid hormone. For a stronger immune system, and keeping the muscles strong, our body needs Selenium. Selenium also required for sperm motility and may reduce the risk of miscarriage. It has been observed by doctors that older adults have more selenium deficiency. This can cause poor skeletal muscle strength in older adults. Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium that can also fight cancer. You can also offer chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, beef, brown rice, and sunflower seeds to the older adults of your family.
The Bottom Line
To get the proper vitamins and minerals in older age, it is best to have a healthier diet. Don’t rely on vitamin or multivitamin pills to overcome the deficiency of any vitamin or mineral. Before consuming any multivitamin pill, consult your doctor first.