5 Essential Nutrients for Seniors

Overhead view of senior man chopping mushrooms preparing vegan food

Key Points

  • Seniors need essential nutrients to support the immune system, preserve cognitive function, and prevent chronic diseases. 

  • Many seniors struggle to consume all the nutrients they need from food alone.

  • Preserving strong bones with adequate calcium and vitamin D helps prevent falls and injuries.

  • Fiber keeps your gut running smoothly, reduces inflammation, and protects against heart disease.

  • If you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, you may be deficient in vitamin D.

As you age, your body becomes less able to absorb and utilize essential nutrients for aging. This may lead to nutritional deficiencies with serious health consequences, like a weakened immune system, impaired cognitive function, or chronic diseases. 

Healthy nutrients for aging — like calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin B12 — play a critical role in your health. Make these senior nutrition essentials a priority. Fill your diet with nutrient-rich foods for seniors and add the right supplements for elderly nutrition. You can enjoy better health and active golden years when you meet your dietary needs.

Take a look at how these nutrients benefit your senior health and nutrition.

A healthy and nutritious meal for seniors


Calcium is an essential mineral critical for bone health — especially in your senior years. This senior diet must-have helps prevent and manage osteoporosis, regulate blood pressure, support muscle function, and promote dental health. 

Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. Milk, cheese, and yogurt like Chobani and Dannon are calcium-rich food sources. If it’s hard to consume adequate nutrient-dense meals for seniors, supplements can help you get the calcium you need. Excessive calcium intake can also have adverse health effects, so speak with your healthcare provider about your proper calcium intake.

Peak Performance Raw Whole Food Vegan Calcium contains ecologically grown Wild Red Marine Algae (Lithothamnion) in the United Kingdom. This rich calcium resource supports strong bones, joints, heart, and muscles.

These supplements for elderly nutrition contain only pure, tested plant ingredients. In addition, they contain whole-food micronutrients — including vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium — to increase potency and absorption. Peak Performance Calcium is a vegan formula without gluten, GMOs, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, soy, or dairy.

Two seniors jump on the bed happily

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is among the best vitamins for seniors. Older people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because the best source is sun exposure. Seniors spend less time outside and thus absorb less vitamin D. This senior nutrition essential maintains strong bones, supports your immune function, and reduces your risk of falls and fractures. 

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium for bone health. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may have a higher risk of osteoporosis, falls, and fractures. In addition to aiding bone health, vitamin D may reduce your risk of cancers, heart disease, and cognitive decline. Seniors can get vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, dietary sources like fatty fish and fortified foods, and supplements. 

Vitamin D-fortified foods like milk, cereal from brands like Kellogg's or General Mills, and Tropicana or Minute Maid orange juice help you get enough of this senior diet must-have to maintain strong bones, reduce your fall risk, and avoid diseases.

Peak Performance Liquid Vitamin D3 is USDA-certified organic, 100 percent vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. This senior-friendly nutrient source is in liquid form for maximum absorption — take the drops by mouth, where it’s immediately absorbed.

These supplements for senior nutrition come from natural sources for peak bioavailability and may provide adaptogenic benefits.

Two healthy seniors do yoga in the park

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Healthy nutrients for aging include omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat that benefits your overall health. For seniors, omega-3 fatty acids may be particularly beneficial for reducing age-related cognitive decline and improving joint flexibility and mobility. They can also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

Nutrient-rich foods for seniors that contain omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish. Try options like salmon from Bumble Bee or Wild Planet or sardines from brands like Crown Prince or King Oscar. Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements are also good if you don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources. 

Nextrino Double Strength Vegan Omegas are fish free and get their omega-3 fatty acids from marine algae. This algal oil supplement is sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free. Plus, it has no flavor and no annoying fish burps. This omega supplement is highly concentrated, and capsules are small and easy to swallow. It’s a plant-based vegetarian alternative to fish oil.

Senior man goes for a run though the park


Fiber is one of the essential nutrients for aging; it has many benefits for senior health and nutrition. Fiber helps lower your cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease. It may help regulate your blood sugar levels, and it’s linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancer. Fiber is a prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria, regulates bowel movements, and prevents constipation. 

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts are excellent sources of fiber. You can easily incorporate more fiber into nutrient-dense meals for seniors by opting for whole-grain bread and cereals, adding fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks, and choosing beans and lentils like Bush’s or Goya as a protein source. 

“Resolve to eat more beans and leafy greens,” internist and board-certified physician nutrition specialist with the Forbes Health Advisory Board, Dr. Melina Jampolis, M.D explains. “Most Americans don’t eat nearly enough of these super healthful, nutrient-dense foods that can improve your health and may help you live a longer, healthier life.”

Seniors need to increase fiber intake gradually and drink plenty of water to prevent digestive discomfort. You can benefit from fiber supplements if you can’t include enough fiber in your diet.

Organic Prebiotic Fiber is a three-in-one vegan powder for gut health. It includes organic, raw, whole plant-food fiber from inulin, acacia fibers, and SunFiber. These soluble fibers blend with water in your gut, help prevent leaky gut, and speed the passage of food and waste. It helps the intestinal gut flora microbiome flourish and produces short-chain fatty acids nourishing colon cells. It helps you feel great without bloating or heartburn.

A group of seniors share a laugh while shopping for healthy food

Vitamin B12

One of the best vitamins for seniors is vitamin B12. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at absorbing vitamin B12 from food, which can lead to a deficiency. 

Vitamin B12 supports healthy nerve function, red blood cell production, and DNA synthesis. If you have a deficiency of vitamin B12, you may experience weakness, fatigue, and memory problems. It can also increase the risk of neurological disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

You can increase your vitamin B12 intake by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Breakfast cereal like Kellogg's or General Mills, plant-based milk such as Silk and So Delicious, and nutritional yeast from Bragg or Bob's Red Mill are good food sources.

Some seniors don’t absorb enough vitamin B12 from food and may need a supplement. 

Elderberry Hill B12 spray is a liquid spray you administer under your tongue. This vitamin B12 formula with Methylcobalamin is an active form of vitamin B12. It’s vegan and non-GMO and absorbs quickly through the mucous membranes.

Two seniors prepare a nutritious meal

Don’t Miss Out on These Essential Nutrients

You may consume less food and variety as you age, but your nutritional needs increase. In order to feel your best and avoid chronic diseases, ensure you are getting enough from senior-friendly nutrient sources like nutritious recipes for seniors or supplements. 

Calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin B12 are critical to your health and longevity. You can enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling life for many years with proper nutritious food for seniors and a healthy lifestyle.

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