Essential vitamins and minerals for the third age

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Vitamin D

An insufficient amount of vitamin D can lead to exhaustion and depression. A sufficient level of this vitamin is obtained by exposure to sunlight or by consuming eggs, fish and dairy products, rich in this type of vitamin.


It helps to regulate blood pressure and therefore prevent heart disease and related conditions. Magnesium also contributes to the better absorption of calcium, thus having a considerable contribution in protecting the bone system. Spinach, lettuce, nettles and cabbage are rich in this mineral. And different kinds of seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts and avocados contain this element.


If you eat bananas, you probably have enough potassium in your diet. And if you don’t like this fruit, there are some other foods that contain potassium: sweet potatoes, beans, lentils.

C vitamin

When we do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin C from the diet, the immune system is increasingly weakened, we become sensitive to any type of infection and a common cold, which for some lasts a few days, keeps us in bed for a few weeks. The good news is that vitamin C is found in many food sources – in fruits and fruit juices and in many vegetables, especially leafy greens such as lettuce.

Vitamin B6

It has a significant role in the functioning of the nervous and immune systems at optimal parameters. Vitamin B6 is found in poultry, fish, potatoes, bananas and chickpeas.

Vitamin A

Important for the proper functioning of the eyes and skin, vitamin A is assimilated mainly from animal protein. But vegetarians and vegans should not be afraid: it is found both in fruits and in some vegetables, especially carrots.

Folic acid

It’s important for anyone past puberty to get enough folic acid, which helps keep red blood cells healthy, maintain normal energy levels, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Folic acid is found in beans, peas, lentils, spinach, asparagus, lettuce, beets and broccoli.

Vitamin B12

Considered by specialists to be one of the most important vitamins for people over 40, vitamin B12 plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy level of blood pressure and helps the brain function properly. It’s available as a supplement and is often included in multivitamins, but it’s also found in many foods, from eggs and fish to chicken and milk. Remember that as we age, vitamin B12 is more difficult for the body to absorb – so we need more of it.


It is probably the first mineral that we know from infancy. From a young age, we are told that it is good to drink milk because it is rich in calcium, which helps us to have healthy bones and teeth. And so it is – but we need it all our lives, it can even be said that after a certain age we need it as much as in childhood. This time, because the bone system is entering a process of slow degradation, which it is good to slow down.

In accordance with the particularities of age, the nutrition of the elderly must correspond to some general criteria that ensure a good state of physical and mental health. The diet must be diverse and include foods that contain as many nutrients as possible in as little volume as possible or corresponding to as little caloric intake as possible. Adequate calcium intake should not be neglected, to prevent the decrease in bone density and the treatment of bone mass loss, which is common at this age.

Two important factors affect calcium metabolism in the third age: the low consumption of dairy products and the deficiency of vitamin D. In this context, supplementation with vitamin D is indicated, but under medical supervision, due to the risks of too high doses. Also, a low intake of vitamin B12 and a high frequency of atrophic gastritis (stomach disease related to vitamin B12 deficiency) are often found in the elderly.

The deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid also contributes to the increase in the concentration of an amino acid (homocysteine), with a negative impact on heart diseases, cerebral circulation diseases and even on cognitive disorders. In this context, if the food intake is not adequate, enriched (fortified) foods and/or supplements are indicated.