Growing Older

Updated: Mar 31

Rapid advances in medicine and biology help people to live longer. According to Shripad Tuljapurkarm, a population studies expert at Stanford University, as new anti-ageing treatments become available, our species will get even older and soon, the average age of death will jump by a year every year.

However, as you age, your body experiences natural changes and some of them lead to poor health. Aging causes not only wrinkles and gray hair, but also affects your cardiovascular system, your teeth, your memory and thinking, and your sexuality.

So what to do in order to stay healthy and to promote your wellbeing as you age?

You may want to pay attention to the following vitamins and their role on your health as you grow older:

  • Calcium. With age, you can start lose more of this mineral than you absorb. This can make your bones break more easily, especially for women after menopause. You can get Calcium from food mainly milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, kale, tofu and salmon.

  • Vitamin B12. According to WebMD, up to 30% of people over 50 have atrophic gastritis, which makes it harder to absorb B12 from foods. Vitamin B12 is a necessary nutrient helping in the process of making blood and nerve cells. You can get it naturally from animal foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

  • Vitamin D. WebMD recommends taking Vitamin D in order to prevent osteoporosis. It is known, that most people get some Vitamin D from sunlight, but your body is less able to convert sun’s rays to vitamin D as you age. Vitamin D is necessary for your muscles, nerves, and immune system work right.

  • Vitamin B6. Your body needs more B6 as you get older. WebMD writes that some studies have found links between high B6 blood levels in seniors and better memory. Vitamin B6 helps your body to fight germs and to make energy.

  • Magnesium. The main reasons for being short of magnesium when you age are the following: older people tend to eat less of nuts, seeds and leafy greens and they often have long-term health conditions or take many medications.

  • Probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria good for your gut. You can get them from fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut, or from supplements. They can also help with digestive issues like diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, and may even protect against allergies.

  • Omega 3s. The Omega 3 fatty acids are essential because your body can’t make them. WebMD stresses the importance of these fatty acids for your eyes, brain, and sperm cells. Some researchers say they could also help protect against age-related disease like Alzheimer’s.

  • Zinc. Zinc is known for helping your sense of smell and taste and it fights infections and inflammation which is really important when you get older. You can get Zinc from oysters, beef, crab and fortified breakfast cereals.

  • Selenium. According to WebMD, Selenium protects your cells from damage and infection, and keeps your thyroid working the right way. It can also keep your muscles strong, and may help prevent age-linked illnesses like dementia, some types of cancer, and thyroid disease.

  • Potassium. Potassium is crucial for almost everything inside your body, including your heart, kidneys, muscles and nerves. WebMD suggests that it may help protect against stroke, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.

  • Fiber. According to WebMD, fiber is very important as you age. It helps protect against strokes, lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. WebMD recommends getting at least 21 grams of fiber for women over 50 and 30 grams for men.

Manage your health and your diet as you age! The earlier you start, the greater the benefit you will have.


Things Your Body Needs as You Age

COMPASS by WebMD. 16 July 2020.

Aging: What to expect

Mayo Clinic.

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