When assessing your parent or loved one’s diet, it’s essential to consider their vitamin intake. Vitamins for seniors are important, especially if there is a suspected deficiency. A vitamin deficiency can occur at any age, but it is more likely to happen as we age.
Vitamins are essential to our well-being, as they perform hundreds of actions in our bodies, and their health benefits are endless.
CaraVita Home Care proudly serves seniors and their families in Roswell, Georgia, and the Metro Atlanta area. We understand the value of a nutrient-dense diet for our senior clients. But, which ones matter the most for older adults?
Vitamin D & Calcium: Working Together
Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for seniors, and it’s one that comes with many health benefits. Vitamin D can help reduce the likelihood of heart disease, increases our sensitivity to insulin, and plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of our bone’s health. Vitamin D helps our bone density by allowing our bodies to absorb calcium and phosphorus, minerals that play a key role in the health of our bones. Building and maintaining bone density becomes especially crucial for seniors as it may help prevent serious injury should a fall occur.
Calcium, like vitamin D, is essential to our body and our overall well-being. One of its primary purposes is to regulate our bone’s health, and it can also help our body with:
- Clotting blood
- Sending and receiving nerve signals
- Releasing hormones and other chemicals in our body
Vitamin B2: The Body’s Energy Supply
Vitamin B2’s (riboflavin) primary function is to help breakdown food components and absorb food nutrients. B2 breaks down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in our body, which helps maintain our energy levels.
According to Dr. Sherry Ross, women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, “Riboflavin is also used for the development and function of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and other vital organs.”
Vitamin B2 is an important vitamin for seniors and works for our overall health. This vitamin can be found in many common foods, including eggs, nuts, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, soybeans, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B12 & Other Key Nutrients
While vitamin B2 supplies our body with energy, it is one of eight vitamins that do so. Vitamin B12 is another vitamin that aids with this, and it is an essential vitamin for seniors because its intake requirement increases as we age. However, our bodies may slow down the way we process B12, making a deficiency more common for older adults.
On top of vitamins, there are additional nutrients that can aid your loved one in leading a healthier lifestyle.
Fiber is a nutrient that can help reduce the chances of type-2 diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, decreases heart disease risk, and can help with healthy weight loss.
What About Supplements?
For many, the immediate response to a lack of a vitamin is taking a supplement. While this action may seem harmless, supplements can have adverse effects on one’s health. For example, some of the components found in vitamin supplements can cause nausea, affect appetite, and cause weight loss.
While supplements can be a fantastic way of getting the vitamins we require, the best way to add vitamin intake is through food or beverage consumption. If you believe your parent or loved one is not receiving the proper nutrients, we recommend speaking with a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.
The best vitamins for a senior depends on individual circumstances. People may have different intake requirements depending on their current health, family history, and environmental components. Speaking to your parent or loved one’s primary physician can help you understand if a vitamin deficiency is present and steps to take to increase intake.
If you found this blog helpful, we invite you to visit our CaraVita Home Care blog for more information regarding senior health.