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Special Nutrient Needs of Older Adults

Special Nutrient Needs of Older Adults

Healthy eating is important at every age. Our bodies have different nutritional needs throughout all stages of life, especially as we get older, so it is important to be aware of certain nutrients for good health as we age.

Calcium and Vitamin D

  • More calcium and vitamin D are needed as we age to help with bone health.
  • Consume 3 servings of calcium-rich foods and beverages every day.
  • Food and beverage sources include fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish, and milk.

Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerves and brain healthy as well as helps make DNA and healthy blood cells.
  • As you age, your body may absorb less vitamin B12.
  • Food sources include fortified cereals, chicken, beef, fish, and eggs.


  • Fiber can help with gut health and keeping you regular.
  • Fiber also helps lower your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Food sources include whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas, fruits, and vegetables.


  • Increasing potassium and reducing sodium may lower the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Food sources include avocados, bananas, beans, potatoes, milk, mango, papaya, tomato sauce, and yogurt.


  • Choose foods that are low in unhealthy fats such as saturated fats and trans fats to help lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Choose heart-healthy fats such as polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.
  • Food sources include nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and fish.