|The Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber Your Body Needs as You Age|
Paul Frysh - WebMD
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September 15, 2023
Whether it’s vitamins, minerals, or fiber, it’s best to get them from foods instead of pills. But that can be a challenge for some, especially if you don’t eat a balanced diet.
You’re most likely to lack vitamin D, potassium, calcium, or dietary fiber. If you think you need more than you can get from food, talk to your doctor about supplements that will be safe with your meds, diet, and health.
Your body needs it to absorb calcium. So take them in tandem to help prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps your muscles, nerves, and immune system work right. Most people get some vitamin D from sunlight. But your body is less able to convert sun’s rays to vitamin D as you age. It’s harder to get this vitamin from foods, but fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are a good source.
Potassium plays a part in almost everything inside your body, including your heart, kidneys, muscles, and nerves. It also may help protect against stroke, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Many Americans don’t get enough. Dried apricots, bananas, spinach, milk, and yogurt are good sources. Ask your doctor before you take supplements. They can interfere with medications for high blood pressure, migraine, and other conditions.
With age, you can start to lose more of this mineral than you absorb. That can make your bones break more easily (osteoporosis), especially for women after menopause. Calcium helps your muscles, nerves, cells, and blood vessels work right. You get most of it from your bones, which get it from food. Women over 50 and men over 70 should get about 20% more than other adults. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources.fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are a good source.
You probably know fiber is good for you. But did you know it’s even more important as you age? Fiber helps protect against strokes, helps you poop more regularly, and lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar - big benefits in older bodies. Women over 50 should get at least 21 grams a day, while men need 30 grams, but most people don’t get that much. That’s equal to about 6-8 servings of whole grains, or 8-10 servings of vegetables.
There’s little, if any, proof that multivitamins benefit seniors who are otherwise healthy. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against daily multivitamins to ward off cancer or heart disease. Multivitamins marketed at seniors may be tailored with higher doses of vitamins D or B12 or less iron. But unless you have a poor appetite or have conditions that keep you from eating a healthy diet, you probably don’t need them.
Read the rest at WebMD
Related: Medications Seniors Should Use With Caution (WebMD)
Notice: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
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