Supplement Your Health the Smart Way.
Dear Rich Lifer,
Vitamins and supplements, while good for people of any age, are especially important for those 65 and older. Vitamins and supplements are filled with the things that keep our bodies healthy and running effectively. But which supplements should you be taking exactly?
As we get older, our bodies begin to lose the ability to naturally absorb the vitamins and minerals found in our food. This means that you need to make every calorie count by eating foods that are nutrient-rich. Let’s be realistic though – you can’t always rely on strictly healthy eating to get all of the nutrients you are supposed to have, and that’s where vitamins and supplements come in handy.
There are numerous types of supplements that you could be taking – way beyond a simple multivitamin. With all the options out there, it may be difficult to figure out which supplements are right for you. So, in an effort to keep you from standing in the vitamin aisle at your local Walmart for hours reading labels getting more confused by the minute, I’ve compiled a list of 10 supplements that are recommended for people 65 or older.
Vitamin B12 is used to promote healthy memory which can benefit those with a predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease. Regularly taking B12 has also proven to slow aging, and boost energy, mood, and mental function.
Vitamin B12 can be taken in a variety of ways – via injection, pill, or liquid, depending on the amount that your body needs. You can also find B12 naturally in foods like: fish, beef, chicken, milk, and eggs.
More commonly referred to as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D assists your body in regulating and absorbing calcium and phosphorus. Appropriate amounts of Vitamin D are crucial to bone health.
As we age, our bones become more brittle and susceptible to osteoporosis, so making sure your vitamin D levels remain within a normal range is of absolute importance.
While most commonly associated with milk, higher concentrations of vitamin D can actually be found in salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)
One of the most beneficial supplements you can add to your daily regimen is Omega-3 Fatty Acids (also referred to as Fish Oil).
Omega-3s can be found naturally in fish, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Regularly taking Omega-3 supplements can have a host of positive effects on your mind and body.
A few benefits include: lower blood pressure, slowing down plaque development in arteries, reducing likelihood of heart attack or stroke, and improving symptoms of depression.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg ,to find out even more about the potential benefits of Omega-3’s, click here.
Glucosamine is an essential dietary supplement for those suffering from a joint-related disease such as osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is popular for its ability to fight inflammation and pain in joints. It can be taken as a pill or applied directly to the joint as a cream and can both treat and prevent joint diseases.
Similar to Vitamin D, when most hear the word calcium, two words come to mind: bones and dairy. Most notably found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, calcium is the supplement that makes our bones strong.
However, calcium is not only found in dairy, AND it does more than build up strong bones! Calcium can also be found in seeds, dried fruit, beans and lentils, almonds, and leafy green vegetables.
This supplement benefits our bodies (beyond bones) by assisting our hearts, nerves, and muscles in properly functioning.
Studies have also shown that regularly taking calcium, combined with vitamin D, can help to protect the body against cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Calcium supplements are easily available for those in need of more than they are consuming dietarily.
We all know and love fiber for its ability to keep us regular. But, did you know that healthy levels of fiber are also known to reduce cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and even increase lifespan?
Fiber can be naturally found in crunchy fruits and vegetables such as: apples, carrots, broccoli and tons more! Click this link to read a more comprehensive list.
Fiber supplements, like Benefiber or Metamucil, are typically found in powder form, allowing you to mix your proper dosage right into a glass of water for easy consumption.
Remember Jamie Lee Curtis’ advertisements for Activia Yogurt? This product was a hit several years back due to its promotion of probiotics.
Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that are especially good for the digestive system. Probiotics have multiple digestive benefits such as: preventing and treating diarrhea, calming gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis, and generally keeping your digestion regulated and healthy.
Currently, Culturelle is ranked the number one probiotic supplement on the market, but there are a variety of options available for purchase.
Vitamin A is another supplement that aids senior health. While one must be careful not to take too much vitamin A, proper amounts can assist in a variety of ways like reducing risk of night-blindness or age-related vision decline.
Vitamin A has also been proven to assist in maintaining a healthy immune system and bone health. Naturally, vitamin A is found in a variety of foods, eggs, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, broccoli, spinach, liver, fish, and dairy.
It is especially important to talk with your doctor prior to the start of taking vitamin A because there is a risk of vitamin A toxicity, in which your body has an overdose of the supplement and cannot process it efficiently. Symptoms include changes in vision and skin changes, and bone pain.
Maintaining a healthy amount of protein is important for people of any age. Many worry that they cannot get enough protein if they do not eat meat, poultry, or seafood, but that is not the case at all!
Protein is naturally found in many other foods, including but not limited to: eggs, nuts, seeds, greek yogurt, and lima beans. Protein can also be found in powder form, and can be added to smoothies or shakes.
Keeping your iron levels regulated is beneficial for the treatment of easy bruising, fatigue, and anemia, and for boosting your immunity to keep your body running healthily.
Iron-rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, whole-wheat bread, and turkey can be easily built into almost any meal. Iron supplements are also available for purchase and can be added to your vitamin regimen with the approval of your medical doctor.
The Bottom Line
If you are not already taking these supplements, be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning a new regimen.
While usually safe, there are rare instances where your current medications may negatively interact with vitamins or supplements. Your doctor will also be able to suggest the appropriate dosages of each supplement according to what your body requires.
Simply use this list as a way to educate yourself and prepare for the conversation you’ll need to have with your medical professional. Your doctor will be able to assist you in piecing together a vitamin regimen that best suits your needs.
While some dosages may need to be prescription strength, you will also be able to locate most supplements over-the-counter at your local grocery store. If you are interested in purchasing your vitamins and supplements online, check out these websites to find the best and most affordable options.
To a richer life,