Vitamins and minerals should be a part of everyone’s daily routine – and not just as an afterthought. After all, preventative health care is not just a trend, it’s an essential part of staying healthy throughout life. Because many of the foods we eat now lack the nutrition they used to contain – and also because of the complicated dietary restrictions that come with getting older – supplemental vitamins and minerals are often necessary to get the nutrition our bodies desperately need.
But what vitamins and minerals should seniors be taking? For starters, here are five that should make it onto your list:
You have probably been hearing about this one your entire life, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Calcium not only strengthens your bones, but also fights bone disease, tooth loss, and nail loss. The best part is that calcium may already be a part of your daily diet! For those who are lactose intolerant or need to increase their daily calcium intake, calcium supplements are a good way to go as well.
2. Magnesium Citrate
Unlike calcium, you probably haven’t heard quite as much about magnesium. However, magnesium is crucial to making sure the calcium you are taking is having a positive effect on your health. Magnesium helps your body absorbs the positive benefits other minerals and vitamins including vitamin D and potassium – unfortunately, many people lack magnesium because of their consumption of processed foods. Magnesium even helps regulate blood sugar! There are some great options for supplements – in particular, the powders that dissolve in water for easy digestion!
Iron is another vitamin that is important for people of all ages. However, it is especially important for the elderly as it is good for blood circulation and quick wound healing. You can find plenty of iron in foods such as beans, grains, cereals, and meat – however, if dietary restrictions keep you from getting your daily dosage of iron, supplementation is available. It should be noted that there are health risks for getting too much iron – it is not a vitamin that you can take extra of. Talk to your doctor about whether or not iron supplementation is right for you.
4. Vitamin D
Want to protect yourself against cancer? Want to keep your bones and skin healthy? Looking to fight depression? Vitamin D is that all-purpose miracle vitamin that you really need to be getting a healthy dose of every day. So get out in the sun a little bit every day (and forget the sunscreen) and take a high quality vitamin D supplement when you can’t. You won’t regret it.
Speaking of miracle vitamins, Omega-3 has been confirmed to have numerous significant health benefits for people of all ages. Omega-3 is most commonly extracted from fish oil, but can also be found in krill and micro algae. Regardless of the source, you’ll want to make sure you are taking this essential fatty acid because the benefits include maintaining your blood sugar, reducing inflammation, keeping your blood thin, decreasing blood pressure, slowing down arthritis, and even protecting against heart disease.
What vitamin and mineral supplements do you take? What brands and products have your doctors recommended to you?