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8 Essential Nutrients for the Elderly

By , 9:00 am on

The World Health Organization claims there are at least 30 essential vitamins and minerals the human body can’t produce on its own. While most people get these nutrients from the foods they eat, some older adults have a difficult time processing certain vitamins and minerals. Here is a quick look at eight essential nutrients all seniors need to consume every day.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body create collagen, elastin, and other key proteins. It also boosts the immune system, which means fewer illnesses during the cold and flu season. A relatively healthy senior should aim for about 90 mg of vitamin C a day. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. North Broward, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Vitamin A

Seniors often become deficient in vitamin A because they tend to eat the same foods over and over. A vitamin A deficiency can result in brittle teeth, thinning hair, skin rashes, and macular degeneration. Beets, milk, liver, spinach, and carrots are all packed with vitamin A. You can also find this nutrient in most multivitamins designed for seniors. 

3. Calcium

Osteoporosis, arthritis, and other health issues are extremely common among the elderly. One of the best ways to combat these conditions is to consume plenty of calcium. In addition to being in many dairy products, calcium can also be found in sardines, broccoli, almonds, and beans. 

4. Vitamin D

No matter how much calcium your loved one is consuming, he or she won’t be able to process it without plenty of vitamin D in his or her system. According to the National Academy of Medicine, nearly 35 percent of adults over the age of 65 are deficient in vitamin D. Getting around 25 minutes of direct sunlight every day allows the body to produce an ample supply of this vitamin. 

5. Magnesium

To keep the heart and veins healthy, seniors need to eat at least 350 mg of magnesium every day. Some smaller studies have shown that a magnesium-rich diet may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Luckily, magnesium can be found in many healthy food products ranging from nuts to leafy green vegetables. 

Magnesium deficiency can lead to an array of medical issues. Caring for an elderly loved one with a serious health condition can be difficult. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, North Broward, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

6. Potassium

As seniors grow older, it becomes difficult for their kidneys to extract, process, and use potassium. Over time, this could lead to nerve damage, blood sugar spikes, high blood pressure, and high sodium levels. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to increase potassium intake.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce a senior’s risk of dementia, high blood pressure, depression, and strokes. This amazing nutrient is vital to health at every age, and the best source is fatty fish. Seniors who don’t enjoy fish can also take omega-3 fatty acid supplements that mask the fishy flavor with natural herbs. 

8. Vitamin E

Healthy teens and young adults can usually fight off respiratory infections, but these illnesses are very dangerous for seniors. Vitamin E is another nutrient that boosts the immune system and triggers the body’s healing response. Healthy fats like avocado oil and peanut butter usually have plenty of vitamin E.

Nutritional deficiencies can lead to numerous health conditions, but opting for in-home care can help older adults prevent these issues. When considering senior home care. North Broward, FL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at 954-906-5161 today.

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