Top 5 Key Vitamins and Minerals for People over 50


Vitamins and minerals help your body work the way it should. The best way to get the vitamins and minerals we need is from healthy food rather than a pill, because nutrient-dense foods contain other helpful things like fiber. Eating a healthy, varied diet is the best way to get what you need. But sometimes we need to supplement our bodies with important vitamins and minerals. Ask your doctor or a dietician if you have questions about what would be helpful for you.


As we age, there are 5 key vitamins and nutrients that are very beneficial for people over 50. We will give an overview of each one. If you want more information, you can visit www.dietaryguidelines.gov.


As always, consult with your doctor first to find out what is best for you.


Vitamin D

  • Benefits: maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles; immunity support; depression; helps prevent diabetes; can help lose weight

  • Sources from fatty fish, fish liver oils, fortified milk and milk products, and fortified breakfast cereals

  • Ages 51-70- need at least 15 mcg (600 IU) daily, but not more than 100 mcg (4000 IU)

  • Over 70- need at least 20 mcg (800 IU), but not more than 100 mcg (4000 IU)

Vitamin B12

  • Benefits: increase energy, enhance mood, improve memory, boost skin and hair health, stimulate the immune system, form red blood cells

  • Found in meat, fish, poultry, milk, and fortified breakfast cereals

  • Need 2.4 mcg daily

Calcium

  • Benefits: Important for strong bones and teeth, protects heart muscles, prevents kidney stones, regulates blood pressure

  • Found in milk and other dairy, some forms of tofu, dark-green leafy vegetables, soybeans, canned sardines and salmon, and calcium-fortified foods

  • Men ages 51-70 need 1000 mg daily

  • Men older than 71 need 1200 mg daily

  • Women 51 and older need 1200 mg daily

Magnesium

  • Benefits: protects the heart, helps regulate blood sugar, bone health, fights depression, can lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory

  • Can be found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds, as well as breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. Magnesium is also found in water

  • Women ages 51 and older need 320 mg daily

  • Men need 420 mg daily

Potassium

  • Benefits: nerve function, heart health, energy levels, and brain function, prevents kidney stones

  • Sources found in many fruits, vegetables, meats and other dairy foods.

  • Some foods high in potassium includes dried apricots, lentils, and potatoes. Beverages like milk, coffee, tea, and other nonalcoholic beverages also have potassium.

  • Ages 51 and older need 4700 mg daily


Source: Vitamins and Minerals for Older Adults | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)