You’ve probably heard plenty about keeping healthy by eating right, staying hydrated, and getting enough exercise and sleep. But, as you age, have you ever thought about your daily diet and whether you are getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has done some homework for those of us over the age of 51. Let’s take a deeper dive into the nutrients that NIH leaders say our bodies need to stay healthy.
We’ll start by defining what is a “vitamin.” In simple terms, vitamins help our body grow and work the way it should. They perform a variety of different jobs in our bodies, and we need a variety of vitamins to do all those jobs. By simply following the federal government’s “Dietary Guidelines,” your body will get most of these vitamins from food.
And minerals? Well, they also help our body function. We need some minerals, like calcium, magnesium and potassium, in greater amounts than others, like iodine and fluoride. As with vitamins, eating a varied diet will help you get enough of these nutrients.
So, what are those key vitamins and minerals if you are over the age of 51? NIH provided the following list:
- vitamins: A, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, B12, C, D, E, and K; and
- minerals: calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, and sodium (which makes the list because many Americans are consuming too much sodium in their daily diet).
Remember to read the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “Nutrition Facts Label” on food packages to be aware of the nutrients you are consuming in your daily diet.
To learn more about these vitamins and minerals, including how much you should strive for in your daily diet, visit:
- Office of Dietary Supplements (National Institutes of Health)
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Remember, talk with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to learn more about the foods you are eating and if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals.