Vitamins for Seniors EmbassyProper nutrition is an important part of healthy living, especially for seniors who may have trouble getting their recommended daily allowances of certain vitamins and minerals through food. Aging bodies are also less efficient at absorbing some key nutrients.

Talk with your senior and his or her physician about vitamin and mineral supplements to help meet daily nutrient goals, and be sure to discuss any medication your loved one is taking to prevent any undesirable interactions.

According to WebMD, these are the top vitamins and nutrients seniors need.

Vitamin B12
B12 is used in the creation of red blood cells and DNA, and it also promotes healthy nerve function. This is one vitamin aging bodies have trouble absorbing enough of through food sources like fish, meat, poultry, eggs and milk.

Folate/Folic Acid
A folate or folic acid deficiency can contribute to anemia. Good dietary sources of folate/folic acid include fruits and vegetables and breakfast cereals.

Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones, but it's also essential to other functions in the body – so essential, in fact, that the body will leach calcium from the bones to account for deficiencies. And we don't get as much calcium in our diets as we age, so older adults are especially susceptible to brittle bones and fractures. Dietary calcium is best for the body and can be found in dairy products, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone density. Recent research suggests that vitamin D may also protect against some chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of falling. Vitamin D is mainly produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but it can also be found in food sources like salmon, tuna and eggs.

This mineral is vital for cell function and also helps reduce high blood pressure and the risk of kidney stones. Fruits and vegetables are the best dietary sources of potassium. But be cautious – too much potassium isn't good for you.

Magnesium crucial to the body's physiological processes, but it's often lost in the processing of foods. Plus, magnesium absorption decreases with age, and can also be impacted by certain medications. Whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts are good dietary sources of magnesium.

Fiber, found in foods like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, has a big impact on digestive health. Seeds, nuts and blueberries are also a good sources of fiber, and they're perfect for snacking.

Omega-3 Fats
Found primarily in fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, Omega-3 fats are unsaturated fats that reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and slow age-related macular degeneration. They may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and help maintain mental sharpness. Other dietary sources of Omega-3s include soybeans, walnuts and flaxseed.

Embassy Healthcare communities offer special dietary and nutrition care for all of our residents. Our chefs and nutrition specialists plan all of our menus in accordance with accepted nutritional guidelines. We prepare three healthy, home-cooked meals every day, as well as delicious snacks, and our residents can choose from many palate-pleasing options.

If your loved one lives at an Embassy community, or if you're evaluating assisted living or skilled nursing communities, call 888-975-1379 to talk with us about any special dietary needs your senior may have.