As most of us women (men, too) know, as we get older we are aging gracefully and becoming more beautiful – but the down side is our bodies on the inside often become less efficient. Individuals over 50 years old often need a little help in the vitamin supplementation area: not just for maintenance, but to help increase metabolism and daily energy.
Some of the main vitamins and minerals to pay close attention to as we age are vitamins E, D, C, K, calcium and zinc. These vitamins and minerals play important roles when it comes to helping fight disease, help limit the aging process, keep our bones strong, and help our immune systems function properly and heal.
Check out why these vitamins and minerals are important:
Vitamin E: Essential to good senior health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has potent antioxidant properties, thus preventing the oxidation of the fatty acids in the membranes of all cells. The dosage prescribed for protection against coronary disease ranges from 400 to 800 IU per day.
Vitamin D: Called the "sunlight vitamin," as it's produced by the body when the sun's ultraviolet rays hit the skin. It is a fat-soluble vitamin (you need fat to absorb it) essential for good teeth and bone health and helps to strengthen the immune system. As we age, we usually get less amounts of vitamin D. Seniors between the age of 50 and 70 need 400 IU (international units) of it per day.
Vitamin C: One of the most important of all vitamins. It plays a significant role as an antioxidant, thereby protecting body tissue from the damage of oxidation. The recommended amount is 60 mg for older adults.
Vitamin K: Often lacking as we get older. It is essential for blood clotting and helps maintain and even enhance bone density. It plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. The RDA for an adult is 22 IU (or about 15 mgs).
Calcium: An essential mineral nutrient and often not consumed enough (in our diets). Calcium is not only needed to maximize your bone mass but is required for metabolic functions. Your body uses calcium for many of its vital functions, and if you don't give it enough calcium for these other purposes, it robs it from the teeth and bones. Calcium can't be absorbed without Vitamin D, so take together with the minimum Vitamin D. The recommended dosage for people over 50 is 1200 mg daily.
Zinc: Another essential mineral found in almost every cell; zinc is needed for the enzymes that regulate cell division, growth, wound healing, and proper functioning of the immune system. Zinc also plays a role in acuity of taste and smell, and it supports normal growth and development. However, it is not recommended that you take zinc supplements, but rather eat foods rich in zinc; as we can get what we need for our diet alone. Large doses of zinc (50 milligrams or more) can also interfere with the body’s absorption of copper, another mineral essential to immune function. The RDA for people over 50 is 11 milligrams a day for men, 8 milligrams for women. Foods rich in Zinc are Oysters, Wheat Germ, Veal Liver, Sesame Flour and Tahini, (Sesame butter), low-fat roast beef, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, cocoa powder, chocolate, lamb and peanuts.
These are a few of the main vitamins and minerals to be sure you aren’t lacking. As always, consult your doctor before taking additional vitamins and minerals to ensure there are not any that could interfere with any present medications or over-the-counter supplements. As for me, even though under 50, I opt for a superior multivitamin…I can use it!