Keeping Healthy by Caring for Your Body

Dietary supplements and vitamins are important to take at any age. But different stages of life require different nutrients. It’s common knowledge that children should drink milk to get Vitamin D and build strong bones or to eat spinach and grow strong muscles. But what supplements are important for older adults and why should I take them? Read more to find out.

What are supplements?

Dietary supplements are substances that you may use to enhance your diet with nutrients or to reduce your risk of health concerns such as osteoporosis or arthritis. Dietary supplements are available in pill, capsule, powder, gel capsules and tablets, extracts, or liquid form. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, herbs or other plants, and enzymes may be present. Dietary supplement ingredients are sometimes mixed into foods and beverages. It is not necessary to have a doctor’s prescription to purchase dietary supplements.

What dietary supplements are best for seniors?

Calcium: Calcium, in conjunction with vitamin D, ensures that bones stay strong at all ages. Fractures can occur in both elderly women and men due to bone loss. Calcium can be found in milk and milk products, canned fish with soft bones, dark-green leafy vegetables like kale, and calcium-fortified meals like morning cereals.

Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is important for the formation of red blood cells. Potatoes, bananas, chicken breasts, and fortified cereals all contain it.

Vitamin B12: This vitamin promotes the health of your red blood cells and nerves. While older adults require the same amount of vitamin B12 as other adults, some have difficulty absorbing the vitamin through diet. If you have this condition, your doctor may advise you to eat foods fortified with this vitamin or to take a B12 supplement.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements, check with your doctor to make sure that they are right for you. They may even have recommendations on other vitamins you should take based on your personal health.

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