Age may be nothing more than a number, but when it comes to nutrition status, certain vitamins and minerals may be of concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the Second Nutrition Report which shows that Americans generally have good levels of some essentials vitamins and minerals. However, they also found that certain age groups may need to fine tune their nutrient intake to maximize their health.
Iron and Children
The CDC reports children have the lowest levels of iron across all age groups. Iron is the vital mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Kids between ages 4-8 need 10 mg a day, while their requirement goes down to 8 mg from 9 to 13. After which boys need a little more at 11 mg, while girls need much more at 15 mg a day before they reach the age of 18. For an iron-packed meal, pair citrus fruits with spinach or eggs. In addition to beef, chicken, and turkey, beans and lentils are a great addition to add more iron. In the way of grains, many cereals are iron-fortified, but oatmeal is also a great source of iron.
Iodine and Young Women
American women between the ages of 20 and 39 are on the borderline of iodine insufficiency. Iodine is essential to the production of thyroid hormones which regulates growth and development. Some natural sources of iodine include yogurt and milk, which will give you between 40 and 50% of the daily recommended amounts. Cranberries and sea vegetables have more. Adults should have 150 micrograms per day, while pregnant and nursing women should have more: 220 micrograms 290 micrograms per day respectively.
Vitamin B12 and Seniors
The CDC reports children and adolescents were rarely deficient in Vitamin B12
but for seniors there is cause for concern. The National Institutes of Health points to the lack of hydrochloric acid in older adults’ stomachs as the reason for the deficiency pointing out that naturally occurring Vitamin B12 may be hard to absorb. They recommend people over 50 get most of the vitamin from fortified foods or dietary supplements.
To find out more information about your specific nutrient needs, visit the National Institutes of Health Vitamin and Mineral Fact Sheets.
By Carolyn R.