Battle Obesity with Nutrition

Essential Nutrient Supplements for Older Adults

As we get older, our bodies begin to degenerate, which often leads to us not getting all the most important vitamins and minerals we need to live a healthier life. Here are a few reasons why older people should take supplements, and which are the most important ones.

Why Older People Need Supplements & Nutrients

There are many reasons for older people needing to supplement their diets, but here are a few of the most common ones and how Ethical Nutrients can help you. 

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is a common cause because as we age, we simply don’t eat as much or as well as we once did. There could be other causes for this loss of appetite, but simply speaking, older people just don’t eat as much as they should

Issues with Certain Foods

There can also be issues with certain foods or certain types of foods. Whether it be severe heartburn or, not being able to ingest meat due to weak or a loss of teeth, or struggles with swallowing. Food allergies can also emerge later in life, which can cause problems. 

Diet Restrictions 

Older people often find themselves faced with dietary restrictions due to conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. This often leads to a more restricted diet, and when combined with a loss of appetite, a healthy intake of vitamins and nutrients can become incredibly difficult. 

Bone Health

Bone health is another massive factor for needing supplements. As we age, our bones become brittle and innocuous falls or missteps can lead to broken bones. And considering healing slows down when we age, a broken bone can lead to weeks or months of recovery. 

Existing Diseases or Conditions 

Finally, there are countless diseases or conditions that can affect how the body absorbs vitamins and nutrients. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and everything in between not only make your body weaker but also make it far harder to get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat. 

What to Take

There are five main vitamins and minerals that you should be taking as you get older, whether or not you have any pre-existing conditions or not. 

Calcium

Calcium can become a life-saver as we age, as it is the main ingredient when it comes to developing strong and healthy teeth and bones. As mentioned previously, our teeth and bones become weak and brittle as we age, and while calcium can’t completely prevent teeth or bone breakages, it certainly makes them tougher. 

Vitamin B12

Found in animal-based products, Vitamin B12 is needed to keep your body’s nerves and blood cells healthy. Vegans and vegetarians will struggle to get enough B12 as they age, and when combined with older people not absorbing vitamins as well as they once did, a B12 supplement is almost always necessary. 

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is essential in developing and building new red blood cells, and it also helps to maintain a healthy connection between the brain and nerve cells. Found in beef liver, chicken, fish, non-citrus fruits, and starchy vegetables, it is important to include it daily in your diet. 

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is known as folic acid, and it can help slow down or prevent memory loss in those over the age of 60. It can also help convert carbohydrates into energy, making you feel less sluggish as you age. Vitamin B9 can be found in broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, beans, nuts, and peas. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D maintains bone health and density and can also help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, milk, and fortified cereals. 

How to Get More Vitamins and Minerals

While you can get all of these vitamins and minerals through foods, if eating everything you need to eat isn’t an option, there are a few alternatives available. 

Individual Tablets

The first method is the most common and involves simply buying and taking each vitamin and mineral in tablet form. This is great for those with dietary restrictions or those who can’t eat that much, and it ensures you are, at the very least, getting close to your daily requirements. 

Shakes/Smoothies

If you struggle to eat or can’t eat due to issues with your teeth or swallowing, then smoothies and health shakes are perfect. While it may sound off-putting initially, there is very little you can’t blend and hide the taste in a smoothie or shake. 

Many of the above vitamins and minerals also come in a powder form or are part of a powder you can mix with water or milk. These shakes are easy to ingest, and you can add extra nutrient-dense foods like spinach, nuts, or other fruits and vegetables. 

Multivitamins

Finally, multivitamins sometimes get a bad rep, but they are great for getting to your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. Multivitamins are brilliant for those with limited diets or who want to ensure they get all the necessary vitamins.