Nutrient needs in older adults


In this article:

  • You may need to adjust your diet as you get older.

  • A Providence nutritionist explains why it’s important to understand the impact of aging on your nutrition needs.

  • Learn about good sources for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that benefit older people.

Aging bodies have unique nutritional needs. A balanced eating plan may not slow down the march of time, but it could help increase your health and quality of life with every nutritious bite.

If you’re a “person of a certain age” you’re probably all too familiar with the impact the passing years have had on your health. As your body ages, it needs key nutrients to maintain peak performance – but how do you know what those needs are, and how do you integrate them into a healthy diet?

Aging can make it harder to get the nutrients you need because:

  • Your appetite decreases but your nutritional needs stay the same or increase.
  • The death or illness of your spouse may mean you’re now living alone and not as likely to eat a regular diet of balanced meals.
  • Health issues make it difficult to prepare nutritious meals or feed yourself.
  • Medications affect your appetite, food tastes and preferences.
  • Your sense of smell and taste are diminished.
  • You have problems chewing or swallowing many of your available menu choices.

Here’s a look at the nutrients you need as part of a balanced diet as you age – even during a pandemic.


Find a doctor

If you need to find a nutritionist or other doctor, use our provider directory to find the right Providence physician for you. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services. 

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Related resources

Don't let staying at home disrupt your healthy eating habits

10 superfoods that boost brain function

New nutrition facts labels: What you should know

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

From how to identify and treat heart diseases to exercise tips to maintain an active lifestyle, the Providence Senior's Health team is committed to providing real-world advice that is hyper-relevant to helping those 65+ find ways stay young at heart

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