4 essential supplements in later life

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While eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is usually enough to give your body everything it needs to thrive, you may find as you grow older that you’re not getting enough of the essential vitamins and minerals you need – either because your body isn’t absorbing them the way it once did, your appetite has decreased, or simply because you lack the energy or inclination to cook regular meals. Here are four nutrients you may need to look at supplementing in later life.

1. Calcium

Calcium is crucial to good bone health in old age when bone loss increases. It is especially important for post-menopausal women whose bodies no longer produce estrogen, which regulates bone metabolism.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a vital role in helping the body absorb calcium and has also been linked to reducing chronic pain and protecting against heart disease. If you’re spending more time indoors these days – perhaps as a result of limited mobility or illness – you may find that you have a vitamin D deficiency. What’s more, even if you are enjoying plenty of time in the sun, your body may still not be producing enough vitamin D because according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), “In the elderly the skin produces 4-times less vitamin D when exposed to the sun, as compared to younger people.”

3. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is “required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.” (Webmd.com) With age however, comes a decrease in stomach acid, which the body needs in order to absorb vitamin B12. This can lead to a deficiency, which may result in anaemia, low energy levels, shortness of breath, nerve issues, loss of appetite and depression, among several other symptoms.

4. Omega-3s 

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are especially important in old age for reducing inflammation in the body, diminishing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and helping to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you’re not getting enough fish (the primary source of EPA and DHA) or nuts and seeds (excellent sources of ALA) in your diet, it may be time you spoke to your GP about Omega-3 supplementation.

It starts with service excellence

At Evergreen Lifestyle Villages our Bistro staff serve up daily meals that not only taste delicious, but take our residents’ nutritional needs into account too. It’s just one of the ways we’re delivering on our Partnership for Life promise.

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