Eating a healthy and balanced diet helps you feel good, keeps your bones and muscles strong and can prevent long term health conditions.
Good nutrition is important at any age. Eating well helps you feel your best each day. Healthy eating will help to prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Poor nutrition and skipping meals can make you dizzy, light-headed and reduce your concentration and can lead to a fall.
Older adults at risk for falls or fall injuries, may wish to speak with their health-care provider for advice about vitamin D supplementation.
About vitamin D:
- While our bodies make vitamin D when we are in the sun, as we grow older our ability to do this decreases.
- During the winter, the sun is weaker, making it harder to get vitamin D.
- Vitamin D is found in some foods and is added to others. It is very difficult to get enough from food alone.
- Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals needed for strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin D protects against osteoporosis and keeps muscles stronger when you exercise.
Get enough vitamin D – Take a daily supplement of 1,000 IU (international units) vitamin D3. You should not take more than 4,000 IUs/day. Vitamin supplements come in several forms. You can talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the best type for you.
TYPES OF VITAMIN D
- Multivitamins may include some vitamin D. They often only have 400 IU so you will need to take an additional vitamin D supplement.
- Liquid vitamin D is easy to use and can be mixed into drinks.
- Capsulated vitamin D is easier to swallow as they are made out of a gel.
- Gummy chews with vitamin D are very easy to swallow and are recommended for people who can’t take capsules or tablets. They come in a variety of flavours.
- Vitamin D tablets are the most common and least expensive form of vitamin D.
For more information on vitamin D and nutrition find a Community Nutritionist in your area or read:
- A Guide to Healthy Eating for Older Adults
- Health Canada’s Food and Nutrition website
- The nutrition escreen
- The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s nutrition resources
- Healthy Eating and Regular Physical Activity: A Winning Combination for Older Adults
- Gillespie, L. D., Robertson, M. C., Gillespie, W. J., Sherrington, C., Gates, S., Clemson, L. M., & Lamb, S. E. (2012). Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2012(9). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3
- Papaioannou, A., Santesso, N., Morin, S. N., Feldman, S., Adachi, J. D., Crilly, R., … Cheung, A. M. (2015). Recommendations for preventing fracture in long-term care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 187(15), 1135– 1144.
- Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. (2017). BPG Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls. Toronto, ON: Author.
- Sherrington, C., Michaleff, Z., Fairhall, N., Tiedermann, A., Whitney, J., Cumming, R., Herbert, R., Close, J., & Lord, S. (2017). Exercise to prevent falls in older adults: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine: 51:1749-1757.