The Essential Vitamin That's Key To A Long And Healthy Life

It's no secret that as your body ages, its needs also change. As you age, you tend to be less active, which means you need fewer calories. However, Healthline points out that while you may not need as many calories as you get older, you do need more nutrients. For instance, protein becomes more important because our muscles lose mass as we age. As we age, our bodies tend to absorb less vitamin B12, which our brains and red cells need to function, so it's important to make sure you get this vitamin in your diet. 

Older people also need omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk for heart diseases. Potassium can also help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Iron is essential because it helps deliver oxygen to the rest of your body and if you don't get enough of it, you could develop anemia (via Healthline).

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones

Vitamin D is another important vitamin we need as we age. This is because of its ability to maintain healthy bones. Keeping your bones healthy is critical because, like muscles, they lose mass with age. They can also become thin and brittle, which can result in osteoporosis. Bone loss is experienced everywhere in the body, including the spine, arms, and legs, per the National Library of Medicine. A lack of the sunshine vitamin results in soft bones, which could lead to osteoporosis, osteomalacia, or other bone disorders (via Mayo Clinic).

When you think of bone health, you may also think of calcium, which your body also needs for strong, healthy bones. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, so it is important to have both of these nutrients in your diet, per Mayo Clinic. Vitamin D can also bolster the immune system and even extend lifespan, reports Mindbodygreen.

You can find vitamin D mainly in fatty fish. It is also available in fortified milk, which also contains calcium. If you choose to get vitamin D from supplements, aim for 600 international units (IU) up to the age of 70, and 700 IU over the age of 70, suggests Mayo Clinic.