8 Most Important Nutrients for Older Adults

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As adults age, the body absorbs nutrients less efficiently. Some adults may also experience dental or gastrointestinal issues that make foods difficult to chew or digest, while the sense of taste may decrease in others. There are many vitamins, minerals, and other compounds seniors must consume regularly. Here are some of the most essential nutrients for seniors.

1. Calcium

Calcium is important for strong bones and cardiovascular and skeletal muscle health. Insufficient calcium levels have been associated with an increased risk of having fragile bones, which are more susceptible to fractures. Calcium deficiency occurs as the body extracts calcium from the bones to ensure appropriate blood levels. Three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, or fortified juices provide the minimum daily requirements. 

Calcium deficiency is one of the main reasons for falls and fractures in seniors. If you worry about your loved one’s safety as he or she ages in place, consider hiring a caregiver. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide home care, Palm Harbor, FL, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.

2. Folate

Folate is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9. Insufficient levels of folate lead to anemia. Fresh fruits and vegetables along with fortified cereals are rich in folic acid. 

3. Magnesium

Researchers claim magnesium plays an important role in approximately 300 processes that occur in the body. Absorption issues and diuretic use often deplete magnesium levels. Fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all great resources of magnesium. 

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and inhibit the progression of macular degeneration. They also protect neurons against the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna are the top foods containing an abundance of the essential fats. Other options include canola oil, olive oil, flaxseeds, soybeans, and walnuts. 

5. Potassium

Potassium is vital for strong, healthy bones in addition to muscle function and cardiovascular health. It is also known to reduce hypertension and interferes with the development of kidney stones. Great sources of potassium include bananas, citrus fruits, melons, plums, prunes, and potatoes. 

Seniors with potassium deficiency may have a difficult time aging in place. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust Palm Harbor home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

6. Vitamin B6

The water-soluble vitamin that is also known as pyridoxamine is vital for maintaining healthy skin, immune system, and hormone balance. Vitamin B6 also prevents cardiovascular diseases, kidney disorders, anemia, arthritis, and depression and ensures ongoing cognitive function. Good food sources of vitamin B6 include fortified cereals, green beans, walnuts, wheat germ, eggs, liver, lean meats, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach. 

7. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the development of red blood cells, healthy DNA, and proper nerve function. Acid-blocking medications often interfere with B12 absorption that leads to a condition known as pernicious anemia. Recommended food sources of B12 include eggs, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fish, lean meats, and poultry. 

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. Sufficient amounts protect the body from cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Exposing the skin to direct sunlight for at least 15 minutes each day stimulates the body to manufacture the vitamin. Otherwise, dairy products, eggs, and fortified cereals and juices along with salmon and tuna are alternative options.

Preparing healthy and nutrient-rich meals can be challenging for many seniors. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Palm Harbor seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To schedule an in-home consultation, call us at (727) 330-7862 today.

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