Vitamins and minerals are meant to help improve your overall health and well-being, and they play a more significant role as you age. But there are so many vitamins and different brands out there; it gets confusing which one to get.
We narrowed down the checklist for you to just 6 essential vitamins and minerals and more for mature adults. American nutrition experts swear by these and label them as vitamins and minerals for ‘seniors’. If you are between 50 and 70 years old, chances are you take prescription medicines. But these deplete vital nutrients from your body, including Vitamin K, C, B1, B12, Calcium, Folic Acid, Zinc, Iron, and Beta-Carotene and others. So you might want to consider replacing some of them:
- Calcium (plus Vitamin D): This is a must-have supplement for women because they are susceptible to bone loss due to osteoporosis after menopause. In fact, men too experience bone loss since less calcium is absorbed with a drop in testosterone. Ideally, seniors should get enough Ca (1200 mg) through food and supplements (that come with vitamin D) to avoid bone loss. Eat dairy along with dark leafy greens every day and go out in sunlight for D.
- Magnesium: Besides regulating blood sugar levels, magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body. Besides diabetes, magnesium is responsible for making bones, muscles, nerves stronger, and also controls high blood pressure. Nuts, seeds and whole grains are the common Mg-rich foods.
- Zinc: Not only is this the immunity boosting and brain mineral, but it also helps heal your body quickly and is involved in 100 enzymatic reactions. Zinc is also thought to ease arthritis and reduce inflammation. But zinc is usually found in seafood, poultry and meat. Vegetarians in their forties or fifties can consider taking a Zn-supplement, after consulting a doctor.
- Vitamin B12: This keeps your blood healthy and nerves strong. Unfortunately, most elderly folks have atrophic gastritis that absorbs less and less B12 from food and supplements. A vitamin B-complex works better than B12 alone if you are deficient or fasting and do not eat your carbs properly.
- Multivitamin: If you are relatively healthy and just want to take one vitamin daily, take a daily multiple for seniors like Centrum Silver which is tested and has a good formula. Most multis contain enough vitamin D and calcium, but you may fall short of omegas, zinc and magnesium.
- Fish Oil & Omegas: The EPA and DHA present in omega 3 fatty acids are good for everyone’s health, but especially so for seniors. Besides being brain and heart-healthy, they alleviate Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms and prevent dry eyes which are common in people over 65. Low levels of DHA in the body can aggravate alzheimer’s, dementia, or another memory loss condition. Add oily fish (live in sea-water) to your diet at least a few times a month, and if you are vegan, you can go for flaxseed oil, or take omega supplements.
Tell us what supplements work best for you. Which vitamins and minerals you are taking (or avoiding)?