What nutrients are most important for seniors?

A diet with a diverse array of nutrients is essential to the health and well-being of people of every age, but a person’s needs change as he or she gets older. Seniors have different nutritional needs than younger counterparts, so it’s essential that older adults and their caregivers focus on a crafting meals that have certain nutrients in particular. Experts say there are a few specific compounds that have the greatest healthy senior living benefits.

Vitamin D
This nutrient, which is commonly associated with sunlight, is important for seniors for a number of reasons. According to Health.com, lack of vitamin D has been tied to health issues ranging from high blood pressure and depression to cancer and osteoporosis. Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency is particularly common among the senior population. There are a few ways to add the vital nutrient to one’s diet, experts say. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, some of the best sources of vitamin D are fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Many cereals are often fortified with the vitamin, and getting vitamin D from the sun can be done safely by using sunscreen.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Few nutrients have garnered as much attention as omega-3 fatty acids in recent years. There has been considerable research to suggest that the essential fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and beans, offer health benefits ranging from improved cardiovascular function to better cognitive well-being. Although there are omega-3 supplements, nutritionists say the greatest benefits can be taken from natural sources.

Although it may not be among the most easily recognizable nutrients, magnesium still plays a vital role in the health of retirement living residents across the country. Magnesium is an integral part of many different essential bodily functions, ranging from muscle  movement to heart function. According to Health.com, it can also lower the risk of certain issues such as stroke and heart disease. Cedars-Sinai Medial Center notes that leafy green vegetables, chicken, pears and strawberries can all add magnesium to one’s diet. Spinach, almonds, quinoa and pumpkins seeds are also good sources of magnesium, Health.com notes.