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9 Nutrients Older Adults May Lack

  • 2 Min To Read
  • a month ago

As individuals age, their nutritional needs change and it becomes increasingly important to ensure that they are consuming a balanced diet to maintain good health. According to Katherine Tucker, RD, PhD, chair of the department of health sciences at Northeastern University, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing key nutrients as people get older. This, combined with a decline in taste and difficulty in chewing or digesting certain foods, can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients.

Key nutrients that may be in short supply for older individuals include B12, folate, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fats. These nutrients play important roles in maintaining bone health, preventing anemia, supporting immune function, and reducing the risk of various health conditions. It is recommended to consume a variety of foods rich in these nutrients to meet daily requirements.

For example, foods rich in B12 include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Folate can be found in fortified breakfast cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Calcium sources include dairy products, kale, broccoli, and fortified beverages. Vitamin D is naturally found in salmon, tuna, eggs, and fortified foods. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, prunes, plums, and potatoes. Magnesium can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds. Fiber sources include whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Omega-3 fats are found in fish, soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.

In addition to consuming nutrient-rich foods, staying hydrated is also crucial for overall health. Water intake is important, especially when increasing fiber intake, to prevent dehydration. It is recommended to monitor urine color to ensure adequate hydration.

Overall, maintaining a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is essential for older individuals to support their health and well-being. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help determine individual dietary needs and whether supplements may be necessary.

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