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nutrients for older adults

Nutrients for older adults

Why nutrients for older adults?

As we get older, we need fewer calories as our metabolism naturally slows down. That’s why our food choices need to improve. Every meal has to be packed with useful nutrients essential to our health, especially those we may be missing in old age.


Vitamin B12

It may be more difficult for older adults to absorb this vitamin from foods. Vitamin B12 contributes to the creation of red blood cells and DNA and to the maintenance of nerve function. The best way to get more vitamin B12 is from fish, chicken, meats, eggs, and dairy products.

Folic acid

Folic acid helps prevent or decrease the risk of anemia. The best way to get folate is from breakfast cereals and from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Among the many roles that calcium plays in our bodies, the most prominent one is maintaining strong and healthy bones. A calcium deficiency increases your risk of getting brittle bones and bone fracturing. To avoid a calcium deficiency, three servings of dairy every day are recommended. Other sources of calcium include leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, or kale, and juices fortified with calcium.

Vitamin D

The benefits of this vitamin include helping with the absorption of calcium, maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Research suggests that vitamin D may also have a role in preventing some chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and many others. Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because we produce it when we are exposed to the sun. To increase our intake of vitamin D, we can also consume foods such as cereals, dairy, juice, tuna, salmon, and eggs.


Potassium is a mineral that is essential for cell function and can reduce blood pressure and the threat of kidney stones. The best sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables.


Magnesium can fortify the immune system and maintain heart and bone health. Our ability to absorb magnesium especially decreases as we age, that’s why we should be sure to eat unprocessed foods and consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts.


Fiber is most famous for its role in digestion, but it also offers other benefits such as protection against heart disease. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans.

Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats are unsaturated fats that offer many great benefits including reducing the progression of vision disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and cerebral conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 fats are mostly found in fish, and two servings of fish are recommended per week. Omega 3 can also be found in some nuts, canola oil, and soybeans.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.