5 Important Vitamins and Nutrients for a Senior’s Diet

Home Care in Dallas, TX – Helping Your Elderly Loved One Fit Vitamins and Nutrients into their Nutrition Plan

As we get older, our dietary requirements change. We no longer need all the energy that food supplied us in the past. But getting the right types and amounts of vitamins can be tricky. In our 60s and 70s, our stomachs become less efficient and eating the right foods is not always possible. That’s why supplements become crucial. As a caregiver, you can encourage your your elderly loved one to eat a healthy diet and take supplements as necessary. Here are some of the most important nutrients for seniors to focus on:

  1. Vitamin B12 – A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dementia in older people, but getting the recommended amount can be challenging. B12 absorption requires stomach acid, which begins to decline once we hit our 50s. Clams, trout, sirloin and cheeseburger are good sources of B12. Shoot for 2.4 micrograms daily.

  2. Vitamin D – Vitamin D offers many benefits for seniors. It protects against infections, reduces pain, reduces the risk of heart disease and can even ward off cancer. Vitamin D is found in sunlight, but our ability to benefit from this vitamin in this way decreases as we age. Cheese, egg yolks, mackerel and tuna all contain this important vitamin. Those in their 60s should aim for 600 international units daily, while those in their 70s should receive 800 IUs.

  3. Protein – Protein is especially important as we hit our 70s, since that is when we begin to lose the ability to build muscle. The immune system starts to decline when you lose more than 10 percent of your muscle mass. In addition, appetite and food intake tends to decrease during this time, so protein needs increase. Chicken, beef, almonds and beans are good sources of proteins. Protein powders and pills are also beneficial. Shoot for 20-30 grams of protein powder mixed into a shake daily.

  4. Probiotics – A healthy gut is important at every age in order to absorb nutrients. An unhealthy gut is prone to bacteria, especially as we age. Probiotics such as dark chocolate, yogurt and kimchi bring good bacteria into the body. Shoot for 1-10 billion CFUs several times a week.

  5. Omega-3 fatty acids – These are beneficial for reducing inflammation throughout the body, especially in those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, heart disease or cancer. Omega-3s also reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and keep our hearts beating regularly. Walnuts, edamame, salmon and flaxseed oil are great sources. Aim for 1,000 milligrams daily.

If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care in Dallas, TX, Please Call The Caring Staff At Second Family Home Care At (972) 846-HOME (4663).

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Becca Metoyer, Certified Senior Advisor, CSA