As any good scout can tell you, “be prepared.” Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, was asked what we should be prepared for, and he replied, “Why, for any old thing.” That isn’t just a motto for us when we’re the youngest of the young, but being prepared is a good idea at any age.
What exactly we need to be prepared for can change as we age, and when we reach our 50s and have learned and accomplished so much, the best thing we can prepare for is aging itself. Preparing our minds and our bodies for the aging process is the best way to actually stay feeling young and capable.
When we’ve put our 40s in the rearview mirror, it’s time to enjoy the age we’ve achieved, and in order to do that, we have to take good care of our bodies. So, let’s get a clear picture of what that looks like.
Essential Nutrients Are the Keys To Success
It’s true at any age that a well-balanced diet that’s rich in a variety of nutritious options is important to our health.
If you haven’t embraced nutritious eating habits, you’re never too old to start. In fact, you’re really going to want to when you learn about the little surprise your body has in store for you.
As we age, we have to watch what we eat more diligently. For some of us, that means paying attention to what we eat for the first time in our lives.
Let’s be honest, it’s part of our stereotype that we just don’t pay heed to healthy advice, and we don’t do as much as we could to break out of that stereotype. Some of us hold onto it to the grave, and like it or not, we die earlier than our female counterparts.
To break out of that stereotype and improve our golden years, it’s important that we make an effort to stay in shape and stay as healthy as we can.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to develop a healthy diet and maintain it. In order to build the best diet and ensure you’re getting the best nutrients for your age, let’s look at the best vitamins for men over 50.
Knowing what nutrients you need and how much you need can help you find the right foods to eat and also clue you into when you need to supplement.
As we age, it’s possible to have a perfect diet and still be lacking in nutrients. This is because our ability to absorb vitamins and minerals diminishes over time. So, knowing what we need is key.
Vitamin Checklist For Men Over 50
Turning 50 may feel like a magical number when we’re younger, but when we reach 50 and move beyond it, we often realize it’s an age like any other. Sometimes you feel every year of it, and sometimes you can hardly believe your age because you feel so much younger.
The vitamins we need after 50 aren’t magical either. They’re pretty much the same vitamins we’ve needed throughout our lives. The main difference is that we need to focus our efforts a bit more on keeping our bones, brains, and our bodies as healthy as possible.
To make that task easier, here are the vitamins we need to make sure we’re getting enough of:
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because we should be able to produce enough of it through our exposure to the sun.
The truth is a lot of us are actually deficient in this vitamin. Our lifestyle and our climate can work together to contribute to our deficiencies, and this is true across the globe and across many age groups.
However, people over the age of 50 actually get about half of the vitamin D that they should be getting on average. Vitamin D plays a role in boosting your bone health, your teeth, and your muscles. Additionally, vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium.
Look for vitamin D from food sources like:
- Dairy products
In order to get your recommended dose of vitamin D, including vitamin D2 and vitamin D3, it may be necessary to supplement your diet. Check labels if you’re adhering to a vegan diet because most sources of vitamin D are not vegan.
Vitamin B12 is an important player in maintaining the health of our body’s nerves and blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also responsible for the production of DNA.
As we age, deficiencies in B12 have been linked to cognitive decline. For the sake of our brains, keeping our vitamin B12 levels up is very important. With vitamin D, finding ways to incorporate vitamin B12 into your diet through foods is good news for meat-eaters.
Look for it in beef liver, clams, and other meat and fish. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, fortified cereals typically contain B vitamins. However, supplementation should be considered and discussed with your doctor if you think you’re not getting enough.
Vitamins A, C, and E
The combination of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E is popular among supplements that aim to give you the healthiest skin. In addition to boosting healthy skin, these vitamins work to repair tissues and promote cell growth, and they may help to support your immune health as well.
Vitamin E is usually found in foods like nuts and seeds, as well as wheat germ.
For vitamins A and C, fruits and vegetables are where to turn. Supplementing may become necessary as you age, but striving for a balanced diet gives you the best chance for adequate consumption of this all-star team of vitamins.
When you’re trying to get enough calcium into your diet, don’t forget that calcium needs its buddy vitamin D to help with absorption. Calcium is extremely important to supporting bone health.
Calcium helps boost the strength of your bones and teeth to keep them as healthy as possible. Improved bone health is important as our bones become more fragile with age. Also, calcium has a role in muscle contraction, and that’s important because your number one muscle is your heart.
You can probably guess that the biggest source of calcium in our diets is dairy, but it can also be found in dark leafy greens. As with other vitamins, supplements are an option, but in the case of calcium, try not to make it your first option.
In sports, a utility player can play every position to a competent level. In the vitamin world, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and a key player in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential for maintaining your overall health.
Magnesium helps convert our food into energy, supports the health of our nerves and muscles, and helps regulate blood pressure levels. This is just a glimpse at all the processes that magnesium is a part of in the body.
For incorporation into your diet, look for leafy green vegetables like spinach and whole grains.
Aim to get most of this essential nutrient through your diet. Too much of a good thing can turn bad, and as a mineral with laxative success, you can do the math on where too much can get you.
With a maturing age comes maturity...sometimes. When it comes to vitamins and supplementation, the mature thing to do is approach your vitamin and mineral needs through your diet first.
Discussing possible deficiencies with your doctor will help you make an informed decision about whether it’s time to add a supplement to your routine.
As previously mentioned, aging can take its toll on our ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals we need. It is not uncommon for doctors to recommend supplements to counteract this aging effect. If it becomes necessary to add supplements or your doctor doesn’t see any harm in adding them, make sure you educate yourself on the supplements you take.
Knowing whether a vitamin is fat-soluble or water-soluble can impact when you take them, and understanding a vitamin’s impact on your digestive system can also impact when you take them and whether or not you take them on an empty stomach. Knowing all you can know about what you put in your body is the best way to take care of your body through your diet.
Aging is a fact of life. Feeling old isn’t. Taking care of our bodies through a healthy lifestyle is important at any age, and the importance increases with our age. A balanced diet and regular exercise are the best building blocks in a healthy lifestyle, but we can do everything right in our diets as we age and still fall short on getting the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. When this happens, supplements can help.