By: Blair Lauren Kott, USU Dietetic Intern
Throughout life, it is important to consume a variety of nutrients to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. But, as we get older, certain nutrients are more important to consume than others. This is because as we age, our body gets tired and slows down, causing certain processes in our bodies to slow down as well. In order to slow the processes, it is important to consume these key nutrients:
- Calcium and Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Fats
Calcium and vitamin D help to maintain bone health as we age. They are important to consume to keep our bones strong and to prevent fractures. There are a variety of foods that contain calcium, including vitamin D-fortified milk, yogurt, fortified cereals and fruit juices, broccoli, spinach, kale, and canned fish.
Vitamin B12 is important in the formation of red blood cells and proper function of thebrain, spine, and nerves. Vitamin B12 can be found in fortified cereal, lean meat, eggs, and some fish and seafood.
Fiber helps with digestion and helps to prevent constipation. It also aids in the prevention of heart disease. Sources of fiber include whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables.
Potassium aids in lowering the risk of high blood pressure. Potassium can be found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat and fat-free yogurt.
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Examples of these types of fats include, olives, nuts, and seeds, as well as olive oil and coconut oil. Make sure to choose unsaturated fats over trans or saturated fats.
By increasing the intake of these 7 nutrients, you can maintain your health as you grow older. Remember to consume a variety of foods and nutrients and eat foods that make you happy and healthy!