Why Is Vitamin C Important for the Elderly?

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Almost everyone knows it’s important to get more vitamin C in their diet, but few people understand exactly why they need to maintain high vitamin C levels. It turns out this nutrient is needed for growth and repair in all bodily tissues, so it’s involved in almost every function of the body. Found in citrus fruits, peppers, kale, and broccoli, vitamin C plays a particularly important role in keeping seniors healthy by providing the following benefits. 


Prevents Gout

Gout is a type of painful arthritis many seniors face, and it’s caused by a buildup of uric acid crystallizing along the joints. Vitamin C can prevent seniors from experiencing unpleasant gout symptoms by lowering uric acid levels. Taking a vitamin C supplement is so helpful that it lowers gout risk by 44 percent, according to a 2009 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine. 


Boosts Immune System Response

Vitamin C is essential to building a healthy immune system. It’s used to produce the white blood cells that fight off foreign invaders, and it also heals wounds and infections before they worsen. Though taking vitamin C hasn’t been proven to prevent illness, it does shorten the amount of time seniors are ill if they do get infections. Since seniors tend to have weaker immune systems, vitamin C can be a valuable way to boost their strength. 


Keeps Blood Pressure at Healthy Levels

Vitamin C relaxes blood vessels near the heart, resulting in lower blood pressure throughout the body. A 2012 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects who took vitamin C supplements reduced upper-value blood pressure by 3.94 mmHg and lower-value blood pressure by 1.48 mmHg. This reduction in blood pressure can prevent issues like vascular dementia, heart attacks, and stroke.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support and information when it comes to getting proper nutrition. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.


Increases Iron Absorption

Many seniors have anemia because they aren’t getting enough iron. The body doesn’t always absorb iron even when proper amounts are consumed. Vitamin C boosts iron absorption rates by up to 67 percent, which helps seniors manage anemia. Proper iron levels ensure seniors get enough oxygenated blood so they don’t feel fatigued constantly. 

Family caregivers need to follow healthy lifestyles too, and that involves self-care and taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Naples, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.


Reduces Cancer Risk

Seniors worried about the fact that cancer risk increases with age should definitely be trying to eat foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals. These harmful molecules can damage cells and make them more likely to mutate into cancerous cells, but vitamin C inhibits the free radicals before they can cause harm. 

A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your loved one lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Naples families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call today.