Everyone knows that it’s important to get their vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, nutrient deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons, whether it be poor nutritional intake, chronic or acute health conditions, medications, or a combination of these factors.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) found particular deficiencies common in community-dwelling adults over the age of 65. Fortunately, Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Tucson, Arizona, takes special steps in designing its resident programs in order to help its residents prevent nutrient deficiencies and live a healthy lifestyle
According to the BJN study, 65% of men and 73% of women over 65 are deficient in calcium. Initially, a calcium deficiency may not present any symptoms. But in more severe cases or over a prolonged period, low calcium levels can lead to serious symptoms such as muscle cramps and spasms, extreme fatigue, and dry or itchy skin. It can also lead to osteoporosis or osteopenia, which results in low mineral density in the bones.
Calcium can be found primarily in dairy foods and dark green leafy vegetables. Copper Canyon ensures that its unique 24/7 dining program includes these calcium-containing foods so residents can get this necessary nutrient.
If vitamins and minerals had pals, Calcium and Vitamin D would be best friends. Vitamin D helps the body transport calcium to the bones. But it also helps reduce inflammation, particularly chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, the BJN study found that 84% of men and 91% of women over 65 don’t get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is actually manufactured in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight. We can also eat foods containing Vitamin D in order to increase the level of this essential vitamin. Copper Canyon residents get to do both! The community’s grounds are secure and set up to encourage residents to take short walks in the Arizona sun. The community also offers an activity calendar including outdoor activities.
Also known as vitamin B1, thiamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism. This vitamin is particularly important for older adults, as a thiamin deficiency can lead to short-term memory loss, muscle weakness, and cardiovascular symptoms. The BJN study found that found that 50% of men and 39% of women over age 65 were deficient in this essential nutrient.
Thiamin can be found in whole grains, meat, and fish. Copper Canyon makes sure to include plenty of these healthy foods in its dining program.
Magnesium is yet another mineral that helps aid in retaining bone density and muscle coordination. But it is also essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body, and it helps support a healthy heart and immune system. The BJN study found that 73% of men and 41% of women were low in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency may cause fatigue, muscle cramps, mental symptoms, irregular heartbeat and osteoporosis.
Luckily, foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains and low-fat dairy products are all great sources of magnesium, and they are all included in Copper Canyon’s menus.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral, meaning that humans only need it in small amounts. But even so, the BJN study found that 30% of adults over age 65 were deficient in this essential nutrient. Selenium plays a role in helping our bodies prevent cell damage, as well as helping maintain metabolism and thyroid function. Selenium deficiency can lead to fatigue, mental fog, muscle weakness, and a weakened immune system.
Selenium can be found in foods like fish, meat, eggs, brown rice, and some nuts and seeds. Many of these options are available for Copper Canyon residents daily as part of their meal plans.
Although many older adults are at risk for certain nutrient deficiencies, Copper Canyon ensures that its dining program and wellness activities are designed to help prevent these common issues.
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.