Our entire lives, we've been told over and over always to eat our fruits and vegetables. While in an ideal world, getting all our nutrients from fruits, veggies, and unprocessed foods is the goal, as you age and enter into hormonal shifts and changes, hitting your target quotas for certain vitamins and minerals can become increasingly difficult. Of course, we should continue to eat healthy foods, but adding supplements to your diet can help keep you on your A game as you age gracefully.
1. Vitamin B-12
B-12 is helpful for a lot of different things, such as metabolism, red blood cell formation, and neurological function. Foods that are rich in b-12 include cereals, meat, low-fat dairy, and fish. Many people have trouble absorbing b-12, so a daily supplement can help you achieve sufficient levels of the vitamin.
2. Vitamin D
To get enough vitamin D, you need regular exposure to sunlight. Most people today are deficient, so it is helpful to take vitamin D supplements.
There are many benefits when taking vitamin D. These include: help with depression, maintaining healthy bones, reducing your likelihood of developing the flu, and according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it even treats psoriasis in some people. By applying vitamin D or a topical ointment that contains a vitamin D compound called calcipotriene to the skin, the vitamin can treat plaque-type psoriasis in some people.
3. AREDs Eye Health Formulation
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) is a major clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one of the federal government's National Institutes of Health. The AREDS was designed to learn more about the natural history and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts and to evaluate the effect of high doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc on the progression of AMD and cataract. Results from the AREDS showed that high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduce the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. These same nutrients had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataracts.
Many drugstore supplements promote "eye health" while also mentioning an "AREDs formula." Unfortunately, the NIH hasn't approved any drugstore formula. Visit your ophthalmologist for a recommendation or visit this page on the National Eye Institute page that gives you the exact supplement formulas so you can compare them to the formulas available commercially.
Among other things, magnesium helps keep your blood pressure in a good range, regulates the nervous system and keeps your blood sugar levels steady. If you are not eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, you likely are not getting enough magnesium from your diet and should consider a supplement.
Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements. There is a possibility for adverse side effects if you are taking prescribed medication. Stick to the recommended daily amount and beware of any supplements that promote a "miraculous cure" or advertise "secret ingredients."