Living a healthier lifestyle means getting all the nutrients you need to support your body and its many internal functions. From eating fruit and vegetables to taking supplements, you must fuel your body correctly to help you look and feel your best. Of course, your nutritional needs change as you get older, but most people aren’t aware of this. So let’s discuss the vitamins you need throughout each stage of your life.
Children need calcium to promote bone growth and health. Individuals under the age of 18 require calcium to maintain and grow strong bones and teeth, but many don’t drink enough milk or eat enough cheese, kale, or broccoli to get enough calcium.
Children should also get enough vitamin E to strengthen their immune systems and improve blood flow. Meanwhile, menstruating teens may need more iron in their diet to resupply the body.
Adults need to focus more on nutrition than children because they don’t have anyone watching their diets and looking out for their health like children do. Your body goes through many changes as you age, requiring different nutrients and antioxidants at different life stages.
In your twenties, you still need calcium and vitamin D to support healthy bones and teeth and promote immunity. However, depending on your diet, you may need to take additional supplements. For example, vegans need to take a vitamin B supplement because vitamin B12, particularly vitamin B12, is mainly found in animal products like beef and chicken. Of course, it’s always best to get your vitamins from food, but you can supplement your diet if you’re not getting the right balance of nutrients.
Through your twenties and thirties, you should be getting enough vitamin B, especially if you’re a woman trying to conceive. Folic acid is an important B vitamin that reduces the risk of birth defects during pregnancy. However, you should also take vitamin B if you’re not trying to get pregnant because it can help you boost your energy levels.
Meanwhile, men in their thirties should also focus on getting enough vitamin B to help convert food into energy. Everyone in their twenties and thirties may also consider taking A, C, and vitamin D to support their eye health as well as immune system supplements to help protect their bodies from free radical damage.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for individuals in their thirties because it has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, which increases as you age. Since your thirties are the time when you start feeling older, and your body starts to experience more minor aches and pains, you may also consider taking a magnesium supplement to prevent constipation, heart palpitations, and muscle cramps.
Your body’s production of vitamin D slows down as you age, so it’s essential to get enough vitamin D in your 40s, which means spending more time outside in the sun or taking a vitamin D supplement. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to many illnesses, including cancer and obesity, and risks for these diseases also increase with age, so vitamin D is a must-have vitamin in your daily routine. If you’re worried about your vitamin D levels, you can have your blood tested to see if you need a supplement. However, if you live somewhere with dark, harsh winters, it’s best to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure you’re getting enough when you can’t get it from the sun.
Both calcium and vitamin D are essential throughout your entire life, especially age. However, you’re no longer building bone in your fifties. Instead, you’re preserving your bones to prevent them from losing density. Women are at greater risk of brittle bones and accompanying illnesses like osteoporosis than men, but everyone should still talk to their doctor about their bone health to prevent disease as they age.
Additionally, women typically experience menopause in their fifties, and some vitamins and supplements can help reduce the unpleasant symptoms.
Seniors should continue to take vitamin D and calcium to support bone health, but it becomes increasingly more important in their senior years to prevent density loss. Additionally, you’ll need to take care of your heart with Omega-3s, which may prevent some heart diseases.
Individuals over the age of sixty can also benefit from taking a vitamin B complex that includes vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 to help convert food into fuel for the body and mind.
We All Need the Same Vitamins
As you can tell from reading this article, children, teens, adults, and seniors all need the same types of vitamins, no matter how old they are. But, of course, as you age, your needs may change. For example, as a busy 20-something, you may take vitamin B12 to have enough energy to go to work, school, and hang out with friends. Meanwhile, someone in their 60s needs more omegas to protect their heart health. In addition, as you age, your body loses its ability to produce some vitamins as efficiently. For example, your body becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D from sunlight as you grow older. Therefore, older adults are more likely to need a vitamin D supplement than younger ones.
The types of supplements you need will depend on your unique circumstances, including your diet, current health conditions, and even where you live. For example, individuals who don’t eat a lot of meat may need a vitamin B supplement to ensure they’re getting enough of this vitamin without getting it through food.
Regardless of how old you are, everyone requires the proper balance of vitamins and minerals in their diet. However, no matter how healthy they eat, many people find it difficult to get every vitamin and mineral. So instead, they choose to take supplements. While supplements can be a great addition to your diet, you should always talk to a healthcare provider to ensure they won’t interact with any medication. Depending on your needs, you can also choose between a multivitamin to cover all your bases or a targeted letter vitamin to help improve any deficiencies.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a freelance who loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, painting, and her pup Ruby.