Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for Healthy Aging

Getting the correct amount of the right vitamins and minerals in our diets is important at any age, but needs can change as we age. Here are some tips from a leading independent assisted living community in Sussex County, New Jersey.

First, it is important to know that:
• Dietary supplements can’t replace a healthy diet. It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from a healthy food source because they contain additional dietary essentials like fiber.

• Before starting any vitamin or mineral supplements, you should speak to your doctor to determine a plan that fits your needs, won’t adversely affect any medical conditions you may have and doesn’t affect any prescription medications you may be taking.

Helpful vitamin and mineral supplements for seniors include:

Vitamin D: This helps your body to absorb calcium from your digestive system and can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, a brittle bones disease that has no known cure. It is also thought to be helpful in lowering your risk of certain cancers and heart disease. As an alternative to taking Vitamin D, you can simply spend between 5 and 30 minutes in the sun once or twice a week, providing your skin is not sensitive to the sun or the weather is poor.

Calcium: As we age, our bones become lower in calcium, increasing risks for osteoporosis and osteomalacia (softening of the bones). In addition to a calcium supplement, your doctor may recommend including weight-bearing exercises in your fitness regime to maintain bone and muscle strength. It is important to get the right type of calcium supplement in the right amount for your age. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 1,200mg a day for women over 51, 1,000mg a day for men between 51 and 70, and 1,200mg a day for men 71 and up.

Iron: This mineral is important for your red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, the symptoms of which include fatigue, weakness, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Vitamin B12: A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to anemia, confusion, agitation and even hallucinations, as it plays an important role in the health of cells, especially your nerve cells. It is mostly found in animal protein, so vegetarians and vegans may find it difficult to get the recommended amount.

A leading assisted living community in New Jersey
United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen is a beautiful and comfortable assisted living community serving Sussex County, NJ. Our dedicated and compassionate staff help our residents through their daily living activities and provide professional medical care support, all in a private residential setting.