Want to enjoy good health? Make sure that you’re getting your Vitamin B and Vitamin D levels right for older age.
A lot of people use the start of a new year as a time to make improvements and resolutions for their health and lives. Most of these resolutions are often things like drinking less, quitting smoking or losing weight. While all of these are great, there aren’t many people who resolve to increase their vitamin intake to ensure good mental and physical health.
Among other vitamins, Vitamin B and D are essential for good health, especially as you grow older. These vitamins promote bone, immune system, blood and brain health while improving the body’s ability to utilise energy. That is why it’s essential that your vitamins remain at a healthy level throughout your life. Sadly, Vitamin B and D deficiencies are quite prevalent amongst older people, something that increases their chances of developing age-related diseases like osteoporosis and needing help from services like live in care companies.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in fighting depression, protecting against colds, and improving bone health. A lack of the vitamin could increase the risk of a senior’s chances of developing dementia. Vitamin deficiencies are quite common in the UK (more than half of UK citizens have Vitamin D deficiencies.)
As we grow older, our bodies tend to deplete more nutrients than they retain. Because of this, you must start taking vitamin-rich supplements and foods available in most health stores, supermarkets and pharmacies.
So where do you acquire more of these vitamins?
Vitamin D can be easily obtained by exposing yourself (bare skin) to sunshine. Your skin is good at converting Ultraviolet-B rays into this essential vitamin.
As older people have much thinner skin than younger people, they are are not able to produce vitamin D in substantial levels, which leaves them at a greater risk of having a vitamin D deficiency.
During winter, it’s also good to keep in mind that you won’t be getting enough of this essential vitamin. When there’s no sunlight, elderly people can obtain vitamin D from different food sources like cod liver oil, fatty fish such as trout or salmon, canned tuna, fortified cereals, egg yolks, supplements and orange juice.
If you’d like to enjoy a blast of warmth, you could either go to a tanning salon or use an ultraviolet lamp. Safe doses of ultraviolet light can be good for your health.
B Vitamins come in different types and are vital for proper health. Each vitamin plays a vital function including helping you create energy from the food you eat.
All B vitamins are vital, but Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is an essential one. B12 helps promote the normal functioning of the nervous and brain systems and blood formation. A vitamin B12 deficiency can display symptoms similar to those of dementia. If you’re no longer able to absorb the vitamin from food properly, you can always have it injected into your body. B12 also helps with mental health and is known to improve the health and memory of people with dementia.
A deficiency in B12 is most common in the elderly and vegetarians (this is because the vitamin is only available in animal protein.) Great B12 sources include fish such as mackerel, shellfish and beef liver.
• Thiamin/Vitamin B1 – Keeps muscles and nerves healthy and is found in eggs, peas, fruit, wholegrain bread, liver and vegetables
• Riboflavin/Vitamin B2 – Keeps the eyes, nervous system, and skin healthy and is found in rice and dairy products
• Niacin/Vitamin B3 – Keeps the digestive and nervous system healthy and is found in wheat flour, fish, meat and dairy products
• Panthothenic acid – Helps release energy from food. Found mostly in vegetables and meats.
• Pyridoxine/Vitamin B6 – Helps the body form haemoglobin and store and use energy. This vitamin is found in lots of foods, including milk, peanuts, potatoes, eggs, fish, bread and pork
• Folic acid – works in conjunction with vitamin B12 to improve central nervous system health and to form healthy red blood cells. It is found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, chickpeas, brown rice, spinach and liver.