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Disease prevention and treatment

12 Things Your Body Needs as You Grow Older

1. Calcium 

As you get older, you may lose more of this nutrient than you absorb. This can make your bones more brittle (osteoporosis), which is more common in women after menopause. Calcium aids the proper functioning of your muscles, receptors, cells, and blood vessels. The majority of it comes from your bones, which in turn receive it from meals. Women over the age of 50 and males over the age of 70 should receive roughly 20% more than other people. Sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese.

2. Vitamin B12

It aids in the formation of blood and nerve cells. Animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy provide it naturally. Other sources include pills, shots, and “B12-fortified” foods such as breakfast cereal. Most Americans eat plenty, but as they become older, this may alter. Atrophic gastritis affects up to 30% of persons over the age of 50, making it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from diet. B12 deficiency can be caused by antacids, certain medications, and weight loss surgery.

3. Vitamin D 

It is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. As a result, combine the two to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps your muscles, nerves, and immune system operate properly. The majority of people get their vitamin D from the sun. However, as you get older, your body's ability to convert sunshine into vitamin D decreases. Although fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good providers of this vitamin, it is more hard to procure through food.

4. Vitamin B6 

It is used by your body to fight pathogens and produce energy. It also aids in the development of newborns' brains. As you become older, you'll require more B6. High B6 blood levels in elders have been linked to greater memory in several studies. However, in patients with dementia, the vitamin does not appear to increase mental ability. Chickpeas are a simple and economical source of protein. Liver, fatty fish, and fortified foods are all good sources of iron.

5. Magnesium 

It aids in the formation of protein and bone, as well as maintaining blood sugar levels. It's found in nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Older folks, on the other hand, eat less of it. They're also more likely to have long-term health issues or take a lot of medications, both of which can lead to magnesium deficiency.

6. Probiotics

These "friendly" bacteria are beneficial to your digestive system. They're found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, as well as supplements. They can aid with digestive problems like diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as allergies. If you're in good health, probiotics are probably safe. However, if you have any medical difficulties or a weaker immune system, consult your doctor first.

7. Omega-3s

Because your body cannot produce certain fatty acids, they are referred to as "essential." They are necessary for the health of your eyes, brain, and sperm cells. They may also aid in the prevention of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, and neurodegenerative disorders, which can result in blindness. It's preferable to get your omega-3s from foods like walnuts, canola oil, fatty fish, or flaxseed, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

8. Zinc

Many elderly citizens in the country are deficient in this overlooked vitamin. It improves your sense of smell and taste, as well as fighting infections and inflammation, all of which are critical functions in older bodies. Zinc may also help to safeguard your eyesight. Oysters are the best source of this mineral by far. Beef, crab, and fortified morning cereals are the only other sources.

9. Selenium

It keeps your thyroid functioning properly and protects your cells from harm and illness. Selenium can also keep your bones strong and may help you avoid age-related disorders such as dementia, cancer, and thyroid problems. One or two Brazil nuts each day should suffice. Don't go overboard. Too much selenium can cause hair to fall out and your nails to become brittle.

10. Potassium

Potassium is involved in practically every bodily function, including the heart, kidneys, muscles, and neurons. It may also assist to prevent strokes, hypertension, and osteoporosis. Many Americans are deficient in this area. Good sources include bananas, spinach, milk, dried apricots, and yogurt. Before you start using supplements, see your doctor. They may interact with drugs used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, and other ailments.

11. Folate

Leafy greens, almonds, beans, and other foods contain this natural amount of vitamin B9. To help avoid birth abnormalities, pregnant women take folic acid, a lab-made source of vitamin B9. Folate promotes cell proliferation and may assist to prevent stroke and cancer. The majority of Americans are satisfied. Food-based folate is completely safe. However, taking too much folic acid in the form of supplements or fortified meals can increase your risk of colon cancer and neurological damage.

12. Fiber

You're probably aware that fiber is beneficial to your health. But did you realize that as you get older, it becomes even more important? Fiber protects against strokes, promotes regular bowel movements, and decreases cholesterol and blood sugar levels, all of which are important in older bodies. Women above 50 need to get at least 21 grams of fiber each day, while men need to get at least 30 grams, but most individuals don't get enough. This is roughly equivalent to 6-8 portions of whole grains or 8-10 portions of veggies.

Where Can I Find Them?

It's preferable to acquire vitamins, minerals, and fiber through foods rather than tablets. However, for some elderly Americans, this can be difficult, especially if they do not eat a well-balanced diet. Vitamin D deficiency, potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, and dietary fiber deficiency are the most common deficiencies. If you believe you require more than what you can obtain from food, speak with your doctor about supplements that are compatible with your medications, diet, and overall health.

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