7 Essential Vitamins You Need After Age 40
Think of essential vitamins and nutrients as an army that will fight off age-related ailments. And the best way to build this army is by eating a healthy, well-rounded diet, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS. While it’s always important to eat well, it becomes especially essential around age 40 because that’s when the rules start to change, she says.
“Your body probably isn’t working the same way at 40-plus as it was at 20,” she says. Muscle mass starts to deteriorate, we’re much more likely to put on weight, menopause may (or may soon) start, and risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes begins to increase—which means your battle plan needs to start looking a little different.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is by getting enough of the right vitamins and nutrients. Whole food sources are typically a better bet than supplements because they’re easier for the body to absorb, Kirkpatrick says. However, if you follow a special diet or have certain medical concerns you may benefit from taking a supplement, too. Ask your healthcare provider what’s right for you.
Here, the key nutrients to look out for and the best ways to get them.
Once you turn 40 (and definitely after turning 50), vitamin B12 should be on your radar. It’s essential for normal blood and brain function, Kirkpatrick says. And while children and younger adults are likely to get the B12 they need from food—it’s in meat and animal produc