Food is the best source of most nutrients but beyond fifty, you need to rely on supplements. The reason for this is that our diets are simply not balanced enough to provide us with all of our needs. Even though you may be choosing organic produce, meat and dairy products, it is still not enough. Over-farming, use of chemicals and fertilizer as well as poor water quality has all rendered our agricultural soil les nutritious than it is supposed to be. Therefore, what our early ancestors ate was nearly 10 times more nutritious than what we eat today. Additionally, we are bombarded with toxins and stressors. As a result, we all need to take daily vitamin and mineral supplements. This is even especially the case for adults in the age group of 50 years and above. As we grow older, our body’s need of Vitamin D and B12 increases too. Women in the menopausal age also need more vitamins and minerals to ward of menopausal symptoms. Given below are the best vitamins for males and females in their 50s to take daily:
1. Vitamin A
Take up to 1250 IU of this vitamin as more than this value could be toxic. People with age related macular degeneration need to take even more. Deficiency of vitamin A in older people can lead to eye issues.
2. Vitamin B6
You must take 2mg of Vitamin B6 twice a day as deficiency can cause low energy levels, confusion, worsening of menopausal issues, anemia etc. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 are tuna, bananas, grass fed beef, salmon, hazelnuts, spinach and sweet potato.
3. Vitamin B 12
Take 400 mcg of Vitamin B12 twice a day. Fortified soy products, shellfish, crab, eggs, dairy, cheese and red meat are good sources of this vitamin. Lack of vitamin B12 can cause symptoms like numbness, dizziness, weakness, nerve issues, chronic constipation etc.
4. Vitamin C
This is a water soluble vitamin-so you need to take several doses of it spread out through the day. Take at least 400 mg twice a day and even more if you are taking statins. Dry hair and dry skin, mouth soreness, chronic illness and impaired immunity are some signs of vitamin C deficiency.
5. Vitamin D3
This is one of the most important of all vitamins needed for males and females 50 years of age. Its deficiency could cause bone and hair loss, aches and pains, chronic fatigue as well as impaired wound healing. Take at least 500 IU of Vitamin D 3 twice a day. Raw milk, adequate sunlight and a wide variety of sea food can also provide you with this vitamin.
6. Vitamin E
Deficiency of Vitamin E in people above 50 years of age could lead to neurological issues, gross lack of muscle coordination, paralysis and even muscle weakness. If you are taking statin drugs, take up to 50 IU per day; otherwise you may take up to 200 IU twice a day. Plant oils, almonds, seeds, and green vegetables are good sources of this vitamin.
7. Folate or vitamin B 9
Take 200 mcg two times a day. Food sources include asparagus, broccoli, citrusy fruits, beans, peas and lentils, dark leafy green vegetables etc. Deficiency of folate in people over 50 years of age leads to anemia, symptoms of which are fatigue, dry skin, shortness of breath etc.
8. Thiamin (Vitamin B1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Take 12.5 mg of each of these vitamins two times a day. Fortified cereals, wheat germ and Bran are good sources of Thiamin and red meat, milk, mushrooms, nuts and seeds are great sources of Riboflavin. Deficiency of Thiamin can cause poor memory, sleep disturbances, muscle cramps and muscle atrophy while deficiency of riboflavin can cause eye irritability, dry mouth, and soreness of tongue, dry skin or chapped lips.
9. Niacin or vitamin B3
People above 50 should take 15 mg or more two times a day of Niacin (check with your doctor). Niacin or vitamin B3 deficiency could give rise to poor cholesterol levels, skin rashes like dermatitis, poor cognitive function, joint related issues etc. Food sources of Niacin are turkey, chicken, peanuts, mushrooms, liver, tuna, green peas, beef etc.
10. Biotin or vitamin B7
You need 150 mcg of this vitamin twice a day since deficiency could give rise to brittle nails, thinning hair and skin rashes. Milk and milk products, meat, nuts and seeds and eggs are good sources of this vitamin.
Osteoporosis and bone disease are some of the common signs of calcium deficiency in adults 50 years and over. Calcium is therefore one of the most important minerals for females over 50. Recommended daily value of calcium is 600 mg three times a day. Raw milk, kale, sardines, broccoli, watercress, bok choy and yogurt or kefir are good sources of calcium.
Low levels of magnesium in patients 50 years and older could cause cardiovascular issues, migraine headaches, hypertension, osteoporosis and type II diabetes. So take 300 mg two times a day. Food sources of magnesium are fish, beans, nuts, seeds, yogurt, bananas, dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, avocados, dried fruits etc.
Deficiency of selenium in the 50s and 60s could lead to impaired cardiovascular health, cognitive decline and thyroid issues in women. Take 100 mcg of selenium twice a day to prevent these problems. Meat, eggs, seeds, nuts and seafood are rich sources of Selenium.
Deficiency of zinc can lead to poor neurological function, weak immunity, thinning hair and adult acne in women. That is why Zinc is an important mineral for everyone above 50 years of age and above. You need at least 7.5 mg of zinc two times a day. Spinach, shrimp, seeds, nuts and sea food are some of the richest sources of zinc.
15. Additional vitamin-like substances you must take in your 50s
- Lycopene-400 mcg daily or 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce per day.
- Lutein-40 mcg of Lutein per day is recommended for males and females over 50. One leafy green vegetable per day should provide you with this value.
- Omega 3-1 gram of distilled fish oil or 6 walnuts taken before lunch and dinner or both will provide you with all the Omega 3 essential fatty acids you need. Alternatively eat 2 oz of fatty fish each day or take 600 mg DHA supplement.
- Cinnamon- Take a teaspoon daily in your coffee or tea.
- Cayenne pepper- Take 1 tsp daily
- Turmeric- One heaped teaspoon per day in a glass of warm milk.
- CoQ10 enzyme- 200 mg per day is the daily recommended value. It is especially recommended for diabetics, people over 60 years of age and patients on statin drugs.
- Aspirin-160 mg per day with water (check with your doctor)
- Green tea- 2 cups per day.