As we age, it becomes increasingly important to pay attention to our intake of vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy and active life. Along with physical and mental exercise, ensuring the right nutrients is crucial for body care.
The American site AARP highlights eight essential nutrients for individuals over 50.
Vitamin B12 As we approach retirement age, the body's ability to absorb Vitamin B12 weakens. This is concerning as B12 is essential for forming red blood cells and the functioning of the central nervous system. For vegans and vegetarians, supplements might be necessary. However, B12 is abundantly found in animal products like eggs, mackerel, and red meat.
Vitamin B6 Vitamin B6 is beneficial for nerves and boosting the immune system. Unlike B12, the body does not become less receptive to B6 with age. Men are advised to consume about 2 mcg more than women on average, equivalent to about half a banana. B6 can also be found in delicious foods like spinach, salmon, tuna, and citrus fruits.
Magnesium Magnesium deficiency is common, with 70-80% of people over 70 estimated to be deficient. Lack of magnesium can lead to issues ranging from sleep disturbances and diabetes to depression and strokes. To combat this, it's recommended to include seeds, nuts, dairy products, and leafy greens in your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 is well-known for its benefits to brain health and preventing heart problems. While commonly found in fatty fish, other good sources include walnuts and chia seeds.
Fiber Fiber is beneficial for the digestive system, heart health, and reducing the risk of diabetes and various cancers. Most fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, making them a great addition to meals.
Vitamin D With more sunlight in the coming months, Vitamin D intake naturally increases. It helps the body absorb calcium. While difficult to obtain in sufficient amounts from food alone, fatty fish and dairy products can help reduce the need for supplements.
Calcium Calcium absorption becomes more challenging with age, especially for women post-menopause. A lack of calcium can affect bone density and increase the risk of fractures and other bone-related injuries. Milk, leafy greens, and fish with soft bones like canned sardines and salmon are good calcium sources.
Protein Protein becomes more crucial with age to maintain muscle mass and recover from illnesses. It's also important for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Consuming up to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight can be challenging, so incorporating foods like skyr and chicken is recommended to increase protein intake.