Wanting to know which vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond? As we get older, our bodies are not able to function as effectively as they should. Muscle mass starts to deteriorate, the onset of menopause in women is high, and the risk of age-related diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative disease, heart disease and diabetes begins to increase. Read on to find out about why living in the mountains is good for your health both physically and mentally. A mountain home could be yours if you plan and manage your finances well.
To ensure your body is getting all the key nutrients to function optimally, you will want to feed it well.
10 Vitamins you need in age 40 and beyond
Many years back, doctors were only concerned about Vitamin D deficiency in babies and children. Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium and strong bones. That is why children’s foods are fortified with vitamin D and mothers were advised to exposed their babies too early morning sunlight to prevent bone disease rickets, which leads to bowing of the leg. As it turns out, adults above the age of 40 years are also at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is on the rise in the elderly due to the following reason.
- Decreased dietary intake of vitamin D
- A sedentary lifestyle which results in less exposure to sunlight
- Impaired intestinal absorption and,
- Reduced skin thickness.
Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to osteoporosis, hip fractures in women, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression, heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight exposure. Other sources include foods fortified with vitamin D such as cereals, grains, fish and dairy products and is one of the vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond.
As people get older, the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from the digestive tract decreases. Vitamin B12 or cobalamin deficiency occurs frequently among elderly patients, but it is often unrecognized because the symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, gait difficulties, sensory disorders, memory and cognition problems are quite common among adults above the age of 40, and can be attributed to other causes. Elders are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency mainly due to decreasing absorption along with dietary changes or decreased food intake. Individuals who mainly eat a vegetarian diet are also susceptible since B12 is found strictly in animal products. It is one of the vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond.
It is recommended that individuals aged 40 and beyond receive vitamin B12 from synthetic sources (fortified foods or supplements) since in most cases, the body can still absorb the vitamin from the sources compared to those in naturally occurring sources.
Just like vitamin D, calcium becomes increasingly essential as we grow older. Not only are calcium and vitamin D both needed for strong bones, calcium is needed for basic physiological functions such as muscle contraction, heart and nerve functioning and other biochemical reactions.
If the body is not getting enough calcium, it breaks down the bones, which acts as calcium. This causes the bones to become weakened and are easily fractured. Calcium-rich foods include sardines, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, almonds and tofu.
Folate is one of the most important B vitamins. Both adults and children need folic acid to generate red blood cells and DNA, and insufficient daily intake can result in anemia. Folic acid is important for the functioning of the nervous system at all ages. But in elderly people, folate deficiency contributes to declining brain processes, increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia and, if critically severe, can lead to irreversible dementia. Folic acid has particular effects on mood and cognitive and social function.
In elderly people, folic acid deficiency may be caused by aging, poor diet, malabsorption syndrome, drugs, or increased demand.
Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin and is found in yeast extract, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, certain fruits and vegetables, dried legumes, fortified cereals and sunflower seeds.
Probiotics are not technically vitamins or mineral but are very essential as we grow older. Probiotics may a crucial role in restoring and maintaining the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract. A balanced gut flora helps the body absorb the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to keep your metabolism and other organ systems running smoothly, Probiotics also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Potassium-rich is very important among postmenopausal women to reduce their risk of hypertension and stroke. Potassium can be found in a variety of foods like banana, sweet potato, beans, and lentils. It is one of the vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond.
Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin that the body needs as we get older. Our body generates free radicals from normal energy production and functioning or from toxins and radiation in the environment. These free radicals create oxidative stress, which can damage DNA and cause inflammation, two factors that lead to aging and chronic diseases, such as cancer.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for an adult is 100-200mg. The daily requirement of vitamin C can be achieved by eating plenty of fruits or vegetables. Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, rose hips, broccoli, and cantaloupe.
Magnesium is as important as calcium and potassium, especially women above the age of 40, who are at risk of high blood pressure and stroke. It is one of the vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond. Magnesium and calcium complement each other. They both play a physiological role in muscle, nerve and heart function, as well as maintaining blood glucose level. Magnesium deficiency is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory disease.
Extra magnesium can be gotten from supplements or plant foods such as green leafy vegetables, grains, legumes, and avocado.
Omega-3 fatty acids are credited for their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to counteract the detrimental effects that come with aging, such as cognitive decline and cardiovascular risk. The fatty acids present in Omega-3 help reduce blood cholesterol and cholesterol levels and also lower blood pressure.
Omega-3 can be found in seafood like fish and mackerel, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin and similar in functions to vitamin B12 and folic acid. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and it is one of the vitamins you need at age 40 and beyond.
As we grow older, the brain cells become easily damaged by free radicals generated through body metabolism and toxins in the environment. Choline plays a key role in optimizing brain energy metabolism, maintaining the stability of deoxyribonucleic acid, modulating neurotransmission and preventing vascular damage. Choline also reduces the concentration of homocysteine in the blood, a plausible cause of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
The richest dietary sources of choline include liver, eggs, fish, soybeans, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Everyone should consider taking vitamin D during winter, PHE says. (2016). The Pharmaceutical Journal. doi: 10.1211/pj.2016.20201490
Linderborn, K. (1993). INDEPENDENTLY LIVING SENIORS AND VITAMIN THERAPY What Nurses Should Know. Journal Of Gerontological Nursing, 19(8), 10-20. doi: 10.3928/0098-9134-19930801-05
Song, Y., Xu, Q., Park, Y., Hollenbeck, A., Schatzkin, A., & Chen, H. (2010). Multivitamins, Individual Vitamin and Mineral Supplements, and Risk of Diabetes Among Older U.S. Adults. Diabetes Care, 34(1), 108-114. doi: 10.2337/dc10-1260