The Essential Role of Vitamins in the Elderly Population
Maybe you have a parent or grandparent who sometimes appears weak or seems to catch a cold by just hearing the word “atchoo.” Vitamins are a key factor in staying healthy. We often get the vitamins we need through the foods we ingest. However, as the body ages, it does not always absorb these nutrients as it should. Because vitamins are critical for development and ongoing health, let’s briefly examine a few reasons the older individual might suffer vitamin deficiencies.
Improper Vitamin Intake. In is extremely important to have a varied diet which includes protein, grains, and fruits and vegetables. Some older people eat only what they enjoy, but this can lead to trouble. A well-planned diet is crucial in maintaining a healthy body.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency. A B12 deficiency sometimes goes undetected because the beginning symptoms might not be noticeable. The elderly are especially susceptible to B12 (cobalamin) deficiencies because cobalamin can become more difficult to absorb as we age. Severe forgetfulness could be an obvious sign of a B12 shortage. People over 65 and vegetarians (B12 is mostly found in animal products) should have their serum cobalamin levels monitored.
Chewing Difficulty. If there’s discomfort in the mouth because of painful gums or cavities, a person might not wish to eat certain foods because they are hard to chew. Dedication to oral health is a necessary component in maintaining overall wellness.
Some Medications Inhibit Appetite. Various drugs can make certain people feel as if they do not wish to eat. In addition, individuals who ingest several medicines two to three times per day may feel full just from pills and water. Documenting food intake to ensure proper nutrition safeguards healthy living.
The Golden Years are meant to be, well, happy! A well-balanced diet, regular medical check-ups, and attention to oral health, can help keep the body feeling healthy, energetic, and wise. And as we chew on our thoughts, isn’t that what truly matters?