Vitamins For Women Over 50: As Easy As C-A-K-E

Take Charge on 07.27.12
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Photo: colindunn/Creative Commons

First of all, I know what you're thinking: "Wait, I'm not 50 yet... I'm not even close to that age!" Ah, I thought that too and guess what? It's right around the corner for me. I feel pretty good heading into that decade, in part because I have taken pretty good care of this chassis. But I'd like to stay that way and that means keeping a keen eye on my body's changing nutritional needs. Translation: less eating from a paper bag and more of the good stuff, including vitamins. Here are some of particular importance as we get better with age; I've even made remembering them easy by arranging the letters into a scrumptious dessert!

1. Vitamin C. This is best in the form of citrus fruits. You can drink orange juice but that can be high in calories; instead opt for the whole fruit and get the fiber benefits too. Vitamin C is also found in broccoli and tomatoes so load up your plate. C's anti-oxident properties help by repairing the body's cells and blocking damage done to DNA, which contributes to the aging process. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 60 mg for women over 50.

2. Vitamin A. Vitamin A is also found in certain fruits and in some vegetables like sweet potatoes. It's also plentiful in eggs, meat, saltwater fish and whole milk (watch the fat content there). It is good for the skin, the gastrointestinal system and for improving vision problems associated with aging. The RDA for women over 50 is 400 IU (International Units).

3. Vitamin K. Sadly, our bones become a little more brittle as we age and that's where Super K comes in. Found in leafy greens like kale, spinach, romaine lettuce and broccoli, it can help help protect against bone loss and fractures. The RDA is 65 micrograms.

4. Vitamin E. There is nothing wrong with looking good and that's one of the great things about Vitamin E. It protects the skin from damage done by free radicals, aids in regulating vitamin A (also is good for the skin) and helps with the look and actual act of "aging well". Vitamin E is also thought to be a weapon in the fight against skin cancer and it helps reduce sun damage, which becomes more evident as we age. Found naturally in sunflower seeds, almonds, some leafy greens, papaya and bell peppers, the RDA is 1,200 milligrams.

There are other vitamins we need to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle as we age; you'll want to check with your doctor to see which health concerns need to be addressed and to make sure you get the proper dosage. So here's to good health, now go ahead and eat your C-A-K-E!

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