Healthy Eating for Seniors: Nutritional Needs for Later Life

Healthy Eating

and Health

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is an essential part of staying healthy as you age. Since the body is changing, so too should our diets to accommodate these changes. As a part of healthy aging, senior citizens need more of certain nutrients, such as vitamins D and B-12, iron and calcium. Eating foods that are rich in these nutrients can help people stay healthy and active.

Important Nutrients to Get as You Age

As we age, it is important to be mindful of our diets. Here are some of the most important nutrients for senior citizens to include in their diets:

  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin B-12 – Vitamin B-12 helps regulate the formation of red blood cells and DNA and helps keep nerve cells and tissue healthy.
  • Iron – Iron helps maintain healthy energy levels and also helps keep the immune system strong.
  • Calcium – Calcium is important for keeping bones and teeth strong and helps support overall health.

Ways to Include Nutrients in Your Diet

Including the essential nutrients for seniors in one’s diet can be simple. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  1. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin D — such as broccoli, spinach, and kale — on a regular basis.
  2. Choose foods that are rich in Vitamin B-12, such as eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.
  3. Eat lean meats, such as chicken and fish, to get iron.
  4. Drink low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese as sources of calcium.


Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining overall health as a senior citizen. It is important for seniors to get enough of the essential nutrients — such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, iron, and calcium — in their diets. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, as well as drinking low-fat or non-fat dairy products, can help ensure that seniors are getting enough of the right nutrients for their age.

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