A Healthier You In 2012: Supplementing For Seniors

It is the second week of January and everyone is sticking with their resolutions right? Getting healthier is at the top of many lists, but what else can you do to increase you overall sense of wellness? Although there is no substitute for a balanced diet and regular exercise, supplements can be a great addition to fill in the holes. Check out our list of top supplements for senior citizens and remember to always consult a physician before you start any type of supplement regimen.

1) Vitamin D: Drink your milk! Vitamin D is critical in proper calcium absorption in the body. Vitamin D can be found in foods like fortified milk, yogurt, fatty fish, and fortified fruit juices. Vitamin D is also synthesized when UV rays from the sun contact the skin. Winter seasons often limit UV exposure and therefore one may require supplementation of vitamin D. Proper consumption of vitamin D can strengthen the musculoskeletal system, increase neuromuscular and immune function, as well as reduce inflammation. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so make sure that you are getting enough healthy fats.

2) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some consider Omega-3’s to be the holy grail of the supplement world. These fatty acids are essential to healthy human function, but have to be consumed since our bodies do not produce them naturally. Consuming proper amounts of Omega-3’s has been shown to support healthy brain function, reduce inflammation, and reduce heart disease. These healthy fats can be found in foods like salmon, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, and basil. Omega 3 supplements come in a variety of doses, so it is important to consult your physician based on your dietary needs. Also, check out the Mediterranean Diet for more Omega-3 food choices.

3) Fiber: Street names…roughage and bulk. Dietary fiber is good for more than just helping relieve constipation. Adequate amounts of dietary fiber have been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and maintains healthy bowel function. Fiber can be found in two different form, soluble and insoluble, where soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble does not. Dietary fiber can be found in foods such as whole wheat flour, vegetables, oats, nuts, and barley. Fiber supplements may be the perfect solution if you do not consume enough in your normal diet. CLICK HERE for some high-fiber recipes.

4) Calcium: Sticks and stones will most certainly break your bones if you are not getting enough calcium in your diet. Often considered to be one of the most important minerals in the body,calcium has been shown to fortify bones and teeth, clotting of blood, nerve function, and maintenance of a normal heartbeat. Calcium can be found in foods such as broccoli, milk, yogurt, salmon, nuts, cheeses, and kale. Calcium supplements can be found in tasty chewable bites, but correct dosing should be assessed by your physician.

5) B-Vitamins: This complex of vitamins plays a supporting role to a variety of essential functions in the human body. B-Vitamins have been shown to support healthy metabolic function, maintain healthy skin and hair, support immune and nervous system function, and promote cell growth. Good food sources of B-Vitamins include potatoes, whole grains, beans, and bananas. B-Vitamin supplements should be taken sparingly as most will get required amounts in their normal diet, but it is essential to confirm adequate absorption with your physician.