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7 Essential Vitamins You Need After Age 40

Vitamins and nutrients are the best weapons against aging. The best way to create this weapon is by consuming a healthy, right diet, claims Kristin Kirkpatrick, leader of wellness nutrition programs at the famous Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. He says that people around age 40, should eat well, becomes this is the period when the things start to change.

The human body doesn’t work the same way at 40-plus as it was at 20. Diabetes starts to increase, heart diseases are possible, and risk of chronic diseases including cancer, menopause, and your muscles begin to deteriorate. This means that your battle plan should be a little different.

Kirkpatrick says that it is essential for you to consume enough nutrients and vitamins. Today we present you the key nutrients and the best ways to get them.

Vitamin B12

According to Kirkpatrick, taking B12 for people older than 40 is important for normal brain and blood function. Younger adults and children get the B12 from food—it’s in eggs, dairy, fish, chicken, and meat. But when you are older than 40, you should start getting B12 from a multivitamin or supplement. You should take 2.4 mg per day, but don’t worry about taking too much, because it is a water-soluble vitamin, and you pee out what you don’t need.

Calcium

A recent analysis of 59 studies aimed to measure its role in preventing fractures for women and men older than 50 showed that increasing calcium intake doesn’t reduce fracture risk. However, some other studies showed that calcium supplements lead to increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiac death for postmenopausal women.

Kirkpatrick says that our bones absorb most of the calcium they need earlier in life, calcium also plays a role in maintaining bone health later in life. Calcium is necessary for other basic body functions like heart and nerve function, muscle contraction, and other biochemical reactions. If your body doesn’t get enough calcium from your diet, it steals calcium from your bones and they become weaker.

People older than 40 need calcium, but according to the latest surveys, you don’t need to go overboard because more calcium does not mean more benefit. More calcium may even be harmful to heart health. Most women 40 to 50 can get 1,000 mg of calcium a day, women older than 50 can get 1,200 mg a day if they consume a well-rounded diet with calcium-rich foods like spinach, almonds, broccoli, sardines, tofu, and dairy.

Vitamin D

Kirkpatrick says that vitamin D is a very important especially after 40. Vitamin D helps protect against the age-related changes. Vitamin D deficits can cause colorectal and breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, D is necessary for absorption of calcium in the body.

Dietary sources include cereals, grains, fish and fortified dairy. Vitamin D you get from food is poorly absorbed. The best source of the vitamin D is the sun. Unfortunately, not everyone lives close enough to the equator. Many people are not exposed to the strong rays that will provide the vitamin D.

If you don’t live close to equator, you do not get enough vitamin D from the sun. Additionally, you don’t absorb it with sunscreen on. Kirkpatrick recommends a D3 supplement. National Institutes of Health recommend getting at least 600 IU per day and 800 IU per day after 50. The tolerable upper limit is 4,000 IU per day.

Magnesium

Magnesium regulates blood pressure. Magnesium is very important for women older than 40, as they already have a risk of high blood pressure (due to normal aging). Deficiencies in magnesium can cause inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, magnesium helps the body to absorb calcium and it is very important for heart, nerve, and muscle function, and blood glucose control.

Kirkpatrick says that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you probably get all the magnesium you need (320 mg a day for women 40 and up) from food like avocados, seeds, nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens. Too much magnesium may cause cramping, nausea, or diarrhea.

Potassium

Potassium keeps blood pressure in check. In postmenopausal women, higher intake of potassium from food lead to decreased risk of stroke. High intake means approximately 3.1 g, and the recommended intake is 4.7 g per day.

Potassium is definitely a nutrient you should get enough of. But, you should be careful as too much potassium can damage the heart and gastrointestinal tract, and can cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Most people can get the potassium from a healthy diet that includes lentils, beans, chard, sweet potatoes, and bananas.

Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous health benefits. Kirkpatrick says they help counteract some of the negative changes that come with aging. Many studies have shown that omega-3s help lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and keeps your memory.

A recent study revealed that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had larger brains and are better on abstract thinking, planning activities, and memory tests, than individuals with lower levels. Omega-3 fatty acids maintain brain health in addition to the other known benefits, says Zaldy S. Tan, medical director of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program at UCLA.

However, you can get omega-3s from foods like leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, walnuts, and fish, and take a supplement is a good way. You can get 500 mg if you’re healthy, 800 to 1,000 mg if you have heart disease, and 2,000 to 4,000 mg if you have high triglyceride levels. You should consult your doctor about the right dose if you’re taking anticoagulant drugs.

Probiotics

Probiotics are not technically minerals and vitamins, but they’re important for women older than 40. Kirkpatrick says that probiotics play a role in keeping the emotionally healthy and weight down, and can lower risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.

You can get probiotics in some dairy and fermented soy products. Foods can not contain as many strains as a supplement, and you already know that each strain comes with its own benefit, some for preventing diarrhea, others for helping to control weight. Probiotics are actually live and active cultures, so you cannot get them from foods that are heated or cooked.

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