Vitamins and Minerals

Two of the most important types of nutrients your body needs to survive and stay healthy are vitamins and minerals.

Learn about some of the vitamins that are vital for older people and how to get the recommended amounts in your diet.

Vitamins are necessary for your body to grow and function properly. The B vitamins and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K are among the 13 important vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate).

Vitamins carry out a number of tasks to keep the body working properly. Certain vitamins aid in preventing infections and maintaining healthy neurons, while others may aid in your body’s ability to use food as fuel or in the normal clotting of your blood. Most of these vitamins can be obtained in sufficient amounts through food if you abide by the Dietary Guidelines.

Minerals assist your body in functioning, much like vitamins do. Our bodies require minerals, which can be found in meals and in the earth, to function. Iodine and fluoride are just a couple of minerals that are only somewhat necessary. Some are required in higher concentrations than others, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. A diversified diet will likely ensure that you obtain enough of the majority of minerals, just like you will with vitamins.


How can I obtain the vitamins and minerals that I require?

Generally, eating your meals is preferable to taking medication to get the nutrients you need. That’s because meals that are high in nutrients also contain fiber and other beneficial components.

Most older individuals can get all the nutrition they need by eating. But, if you are unsure, always speak with your doctor or a certified nutritionist to see if you are low in any important vitamins or minerals. A vitamin or nutritional supplement can be suggested by your doctor or nutritionist.

It’s critical to be aware that some supplements may cause adverse consequences, such as a heightened risk of bleeding after an injury or a different reaction to anesthetic during surgery. Certain supplement and medicine combinations have the potential to be harmful. For instance, vitamin K can reduce the ability of the common blood thinner warfarin to prevent blood clots. If you do need to add supplements to your diet, your physician or pharmacist can advise you on the kind and doses that are safe for you.

When searching to purchase any, you could feel overpowered by the variety of supplements available at the drugstore or grocery shop could feel overpowered by the variety of supplements available at the drugstore or grocery shop when searching to purchase. Choose a supplement with the vitamin or mineral you require without many has the vitamin or mineral you require without a lot of extraneous fillers. Make sure the dose is appropriate by reading the label. Avoid supplements containing massive doses. You can be paying for supplements you don’t need while taking too much of some vitamins and minerals can be dangerous. Brands that suit your needs can be suggested by your physician or pharmacist.

Measurements for vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are measured in a variety of ways. The most common are:

  1. mg – milligram (a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram)
  2. mcg – microgram (a microgram is one-millionth of a gram. 1,000 micrograms is equal to one milligram)
  3. IU – international unit (the conversion of milligrams and micrograms into IU depends on the type of vitamin or drug).

Vitamin Sources

Water soluble:

Vitamin B-1: ham, soymilk, watermelon, acorn squash

Vitamin B-2: milk, yogurt, cheese, whole and enriched grains, and cereals.

Vitamin B-3: meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes

Vitamin B-5: chicken, whole grains, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms

Vitamin B-6: meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu and other soy products, bananas

Vitamin B-7: Whole grains, eggs, soybeans, fish

Vitamin B-9: Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, legumes (black-eyed peas and chickpeas), orange juice

Vitamin B-12: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, fortified soymilk, and cereals

Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts


Vitamin A: beef, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes

Vitamin D: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish

Vitamin E: vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts

Vitamin K: Cabbage, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, kale


Yogurt, cheese, milk, salmon, and leafy greens all contain calcium.

Chloride: salt

Magnesium: Spinach, broccoli, legumes, seeds, whole-wheat bread

Potassium: meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes

Sodium: salt, soy sauce, vegetables

Chromium: meat, poultry, fish, nuts, cheese

Shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain goods, beans, and prunes all contain copper.

Fluoride:  fish, teas

Iodine: Iodized salt, seafood

Red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread, and poultry are all excellent iron sources.

Manganese: nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea

Selenium: Organ meat, seafood, walnuts

Zinc: meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains

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