What Nutrients Do You Need Now?
As we age, our nutrient needs change along with our bodies. Not only is our body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals altered, we also become more vulnerable to the diseases and disorders that commonly accompany aging.
We can’t change our genes. But we can take steps to make sure our bodies have all the tools they need to stay healthy. That’s why it’s so important for baby boomers (individuals in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, born during the post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964, in case you’re wondering if you make the cut) to take their nutrient intake seriously.
Getting the right vitamins and minerals on a daily basis can help fend off nutrient deficiencies. Baby boomers have particular health needs, and there are certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for this age group. Read on to learn more about what vitamins and minerals baby boomers need now.
Vitamin D & Calcium for Bone Health
Vitamin D and calcium are essential for healthy bones. Osteoporosis, a bone-thinning and weakening disease that most often affects women over the age of 55, is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. And guys, you’re not off the hook. Though osteoporosis most commonly affects postmenopausal women, 20 percent of osteoporosis sufferers are male.
You need both calcium and vitamin D to promote healthy and strong bones. Calcium is the essential mineral for bone health, but it’s not much good on its own. Calcium needs vitamin D to help with absorption. Without vitamin D, our bodies can’t efficiently make use of the calcium we take in. Adults between the ages of 50 and 70 should aim for at least 400 IU of vitamin D per day in their diet. If you feel like getting the right amounts of nutrients through your meals is a challenge, consider taking a multivitamin that contains both calcium and vitamin D.
B Vitamins for Energy & Nervous System Support
All B vitamins (and especially B12) are essential for maintaining healthy nervous system functioning. Without vitamin B12 you may see some decline in memory and cognitive function as well as other neurologic abnormalities.
Another essential B vitamin that many baby boomers overlook is folate. Folate isn’t just for pregnant women. In baby-boomers, folic acid helps to metabolize a harmful substance in the body (called homocysteine).
Antioxidants for Immune System Support
Antioxidants help fight off destructive free-radicals. Free radicals are “rogue” molecules produced as the byproduct of normal cell metabolism; but they can also come from environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, pollution, UV light and certain chemicals. Free-radicals attack and damage healthy cells, potentially mutating DNA.
Antioxidants are important because they help neutralize the damage caused by free-radicals and remove them from the body. Essentially, antioxidants act as our body’s defense system, preventing harmful chain reactions from taking off, or stopping them in their tracks. Vitamins A, C and E are the essential antioxidant vitamins; each serves a different purpose in helping to fight the potential damage caused by free-radicals. Everyone needs antioxidants, but for baby boomers these cell-rescuing vitamins are especially important.
Get Vitamins from Foods First
Of course, the best source of vitamins and minerals is from your diet. A well-rounded diet of whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables is your first step in maintaining good health as you age. Still, for varying reasons (including diet choices and absorption issues) many baby boomers aren’t able to get enough nutrients from their diet alone. While not a replacement for healthy eating, dietary supplements, starting with a well-balanced multivitamin, can be a great first step in taking care of your body.
The Well-Balanced Multivitamin
Geritol® multivitamin is specially formulated with just the right vitamins in just the right amounts so you can feel your best! Geritol contains every essential vitamin and mineral in one tablet, plus antioxidant vitamins A, C, & E.
Vitamin Essentials as We Age. Medicinenet.com (a subsidiary of WebMD). Jan. 24, 2005. Retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52380 February 12, 2013.
Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide. 2005-2013 WebMD, LLC. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/default.htm February 10, 2013.
Growing Old, Baby-Boomer Style: 50+: Live Better, Longer. 2005-2013 WebMD, LLC. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/growing-old-baby-boomer-style February 11, 2013.