Research has proven that a balanced diet, regular exercise, restful sleep and staying on top of routine health check-ups can reduce the number of chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
In addition to these lifestyle modifications, supplements that bolster immunity, protect our vital organs and preserve muscle mass are also important for seniors to support healthy aging.
Try one of these 3 supplements to optimize your nutritional needs.
Protein, along with fats and carbohydrates, is one of the macronutrients our bodies need in relatively large supply. Our bodies need protein to build and repair tissue, to retain muscle mass and for healthy immune system functioning.
Most people don’t get enough protein in their diets. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is modest, at only 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Studies show that active older adults may need even more dietary protein than younger adults do.
To determine your RDA for protein, use this helpful online calculator.
Try: Vega Sport Protein Powder Chocolate
￼While most protein powders deliver about 20 grams of protein per serving, this plant-based protein powder from Vega Sport contains 30 grams of protein in every scoop. You’ll also get 6 grams of Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) per serving, which are also important in helping to build muscle.
We all need omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil, to ensure normal organ functioning and cell development.
Eating fish twice a week is usually enough to get the recommended amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) our bodies need.
If you don’t eat fish, a fish oil supplement — which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken for at least six months — may be in order.
Try: Rainbow Light Everyone’s Omega™ Fish and Flax Oil
￼In addition to EPA and DHA, the additional of flax oil also gives you healthy fats from and omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which may also help protect the brain.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant needed for tissue growth and repair, healthy teeth and bones, collagen formation and much more.
It’s also known for its immune-boosting properties, which is important as we get older and the body becomes more susceptible to infection.
Studies have also found vitamin C beneficial in protecting against development of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over 55 in the United States.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in adults is 90 mg/day for men and 75/mg day for women, though many experts recommended higher dosages for additional benefits.
Try: Nature’s Way Vitamin C with Rose Hips
￼Provides 1000 milligrams of vitamin C and more antioxidant benefits with the addition of rose hips.
Always check with your doctor before starting any supplements. Your doctor knows your medical history and can advise of any known interactions between supplements and your existing medications.
Karen Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, YouBeauty.com and others.