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4 Vitamins That Are Essential to Senior Health

Balanced meal on black plate with chicken, chickpeas, fruit, and vegetables.

As you get older, it becomes extra important to look out for your health. And for aging individuals, something to keep in mind is that your specific health needs can change. This includes making sure you get enough of certain vitamins. Vitamins and minerals keep your body working the way it should for your best quality of senior health. Read on below to learn which vitamins and minerals are best for seniors, how to get them, and more.

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for seniors’ bone health and teeth. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. For individuals 51 to 70, 15 to 20 mcg of Vitamin D are recommended. For those over 70, that amount goes up to 20 to 25 mcg per day.

Be careful not to overdo it, though. No matter your age, you should not exceed 100 mcg per day.

Vitamin D can be found in certain fortified breakfast cereals, milk products, orange juice, cheese, egg yolks, leafy green vegetables, and certain types of fish, such as salmon.

Seniors can also take daily vitamin D3 supplements if needed.

2. Calcium

One of the reasons vitamin D is so important is because it helps individuals absorb calcium. Getting enough vitamin D and calcium can help prevent brittle bones, bone loss, fractures, and osteoporosis. The stronger your bones are, the less you’ll be impacted in case of a fall.

While there are some general guidelines for senior calcium intake, the amount may be different for individuals who are dealing with severe bone loss. If you’re concerned, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.

In general, 1,000 to 1,200 mg are recommended per day. Rather than take that all at once, some nutritionists recommend spacing it out between your three meals a day. Individuals should generally not exceed 2,000 mg per day.

Calcium can be found in dairy products, beans, tuna fish, beef liver, and leafy green vegetables like spinach.

3. Vitamin B12

B12 is more difficult to absorb as you get older. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important for seniors’ health to monitor intake.

B12 helps regulate blood pressure, blood cell health, nerve function, and heart health. Like other B vitamins, it is also good for brain function.

For senior health, 2.4 mcg per day are recommended.

B vitamins can be found in foods like meat, poultry, eggs, and milk, as well as in certain fruits and vegetables.

4. Vitamin B6

B6 helps regulate the neurotransmitters in your brain, which are important for maintaining metabolism and a healthy immune system. B6, as well as B9, can also help with memory loss.

Daily B6 intake should be a little less than B12. It’s recommended seniors take 1.5 to 1.7 mcg of B6 per day. B6 can be found in starchy vegetables like potatoes. And it can be in non-citrus fruits.

With all of these vitamins, you can take a multivitamin and/or specific supplements, which are usually over the counter. But it’s also very important to get them through the food you eat.

One of the ways BridgeWater Assisted Living looks out for senior health is through our vitamin-packed meals. Residents can head to the dining room for three chef-prepared meals a day, seven days a week. We make sure everything on our menu is both delicious and nutritious. There will also be special food events throughout the year. Residents are welcome to leave feedback, suggestions, and even some ideas and recipes of their own.

You can find out more about our meals, additional amenities, and BridgeWater Assisted Living in general on our website.