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Getting the Right Nutrients For Your Age

By +Carolyn Richardson on Sep 01, 2012 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

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.

MORE: Get 6 Essential Vitamins Through Meals Not Pills

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 here.

Your thoughts... 

What are your favorite foods for getting the recommended daily amounts of essential vitamins and minerals? 


Sea Vegetables aren't the only ones with Iodine.  Wild caught fish also have Iodine and plentiful Selenium. inal.pdf -fruit-vs-beef-liver.html


I would really like to have an article, or suggestions, on how to get enough potassium... it just seems impossible to me to get enough potassium even though I always score A's or A- on CC... 4 800 mg is crazy to get... I'm turning 43 in a week.



Did you look at the free the animal post?  With a beef liver meal it listed 46% of the RDA for potassium that's a pretty hefty chunk.  I don't know how easy it is to actually get to that amount....

I wouldn't sweat it.  I'm guessing some of the RDA might be higher than we truly need.  My last blood test said my potassium was fine even though I didn't think I ate enough food with it.

I always thought I had enough calcium, especially when taking a multivitamin.  My female doctor recently told me to consider adding a supplement to bring my daily amount up to 1200 (over 50--1000 if your under 50).  We are recently on a heart/cholesterol reducing diet which allows modest amounts of dairy, and both books I read by physicians (different diets) suggested Ca++ supplement with same goal of 1200 daily.  I was surprised to find that all our multivitamins only provided about 400-600 per day. seases/

Calcium needs other nutrients to be useful.  You can also have too much.  The following is an excerpt from the first blog post linked.

What does osteocalcin do?  The latest data from Columbia shows it regulates insulin release to protect our bone stores while also increasing our testosterone levels.  Testosterone levels increase our bone density in both men and women.  It is a hormone only secreted by the osteoblasts, and it is vital in forming bone and directing calcium ion homeostasis in bone, dentin and the arteries of our body.

I highly recommend reading all of Jack's blogs.

1-5, 16 for a start after reading those osteoporosis blogs since they are important for anyone to know that is taking calcium or thinks they need to.

As for not getting enough potassium, try this out every morning, spinach, almond milk, peanut butter, whey powder protien, banana, handful of ice, toss in a blender. Nuff said. drink, it is great, and great for you.


Original Post by: einsteinette

I would really like to have an article, or suggestions, on how to get enough potassium... it just seems impossible to me to get enough potassium even though I always score A's or A- on CC... 4 800 mg is crazy to get... I'm turning 43 in a week.



What I did was look up foods high in potassium, made a list of the ones that I liked and started putting them on my grocery list. Also got a jar of salt substitute for things I would normally use salt on. It has potassium chloride in it. It's not meant as a food substitute, but in moderation it helps get the numbers up. The most important thing about potassium isn't getting 4800 mg's a day but moreover making sure it is double your sodium intake. They work together. So if you were to follow the RDA of 2400 mg's of sodium, you get the 4800 of potassium. Funny how that works out. lol So as long as you get between 1300 to 2400 of sodium, strive to get double of it in potassium.

Coconut water and V-8 juice have lots of potassium.

Just be careful with that salt substitute.  Potassium can cause major issues with the heart.

Many of sodium's bad effects are from refined salt.  They are produced when they heat treat and strip the natural salt of all the trace minerals.  I would recommend using Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt, or Himalayan unrefined salt rather than the salt substitute.  Sticking to whole foods for your potassium than a salt substitute is a good idea.

I don't know how its made but it sounds like a processed food I'm not sure its a good idea.

The numbers don't matter as much as the effects.  Using a teaspoon of refined salt has different effects than using a teaspoon of unrefined salt.

Check out for more details.

There is one other thing to keep in mind about potassium intake. Food manufactures and packagers are not required to test or label for potassium therefore it isn't in the nutrition facts very often. Some products have included it but not many so you may be getting way more than you think depending on how much of your log consists of packaged food in any way (including frozen which usually preserves vitamins and minerals naturally found in food) try looking up the raw versions of some of your favorite foods and see what they have for potassium in them. Surprisingly enough potatoes are really high in potassium and even frying them doesn't seem to change this (hello, something good about a french fry - in moderation of course Surprised)


I agree! Potassium is by far the most difficult for me and I'd love to know if this is because American food manufacturers aren't required to report this nutrient or some other reason.  I eat an entirely plant-based diet and have never yet achieved a 'green' on potassium.

Good old peanut butter sandwich

Cranberry Blackcurrent juice

and pumpkin in curried sausages or as a side dish

those three pack of fair bit

I do supplement with a Multi and garlic and fish oil and some other stuff.  I just take it in the morning and don't think about it.  Works for me.

I'd drive myself crazy trying to figure out what foods I need to eat to get the exact balance!! 


How to eat what you want and still lose weight!

Serving Size Potassium (mg) Apricots, dried 10 halves 407 Avocados, raw 1 ounce 180 Bananas, raw 1 cup 594 Beets, cooked 1 cup 519 Brussel sprouts, cooked 1 cup 504 Cantaloupe 1 cup 494 Dates, dry 5 dates 271 Figs, dry 2 figs 271 Kiwi fruit, raw 1 medium 252 Lima beans 1 cup 955 Melons, honeydew 1 cup 461 Milk, fat free or skim 1 cup 407 Nectarines 1 nectarine 288 Orange juice 1 cup 496 Oranges 1 orange 237 Pears (fresh) 1 pear 208 Peanuts dry roasted, unsalted 1 ounce 187 Potatoes, baked, 1 potato 1081 Prune juice 1 cup 707 Prunes, dried 1 cup 828 Raisins 1 cup 1089 Spinach, cooked 1 cup 839 Tomato products, canned sauce 1 cup 909 Winter squash 1 cup 896 Yogurt plain, skim milk 8 ounces 579

I get my potasium every day from spinach,kale and banana  smoothy. however there are a lot of fruit an bean that are good.

Lots of people on here are saying that potassium sources are few and far between... I get my potassium from cooked leafy greens, squashes, sweet potatoes, and bananas. A cup of cooked squash has almost 1,000 milligrams of potassium. And although I find acorn squash rather tasteless, butternut squash is easily turned into "cutlets" and sautéed or baked.

Since I can't see the amount of potassium in a food item when I search for it on the computer, only a "high in potassium" label, I'm unable to immediately verify this. Here are sources courtesy of MyFitnessPal: d-baked-without-salt-11483 d-baked-in-skin-without-salt-sweetpotato-11508 led-drained-without-salt-11458 o-7-7-8-inch-104307064

I agree with this poster.    When I am really trying hard to attain correct amounts of all the nutritional components it is potassium that is always lacking.    

So yes, is there a way to get enough potassium on between 1200 and 1500 calories a day?

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