Why? They play a vital role in memory and slowing mental decline.
Found in: Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, folate and b12
Why? They support brain function and can improve memory recall.
OiIy fish like sardines plays a pivotal role in slowing down mental decline
Found in: They exist in wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, and in leafy green veg. Meanwhile, meat, fish, eggs and dairy are all rich in B12.
Why? An adequate intake can strengthen bones and reduce fracture risk.
Found in: Dairy foods, leafy green veg and some dried fruits.
Why? It’s needed for the body to absorb and use calcium effectively.
Found in: Small amounts of vitamin D are found in oily fish and eggs, but the main source is the action of sunlight on skin, meaning most of us are deficient in the winter and as we age.
Why? Sufficient levels can reduce age-related bone thinning.
Found in: Dark green leafy veg such as spinach and kale.
Why? It’s linked to better vision and a lower risk of dry eye conditions
Found in: Oily fish.
Antioxidants and zinc
Why? High levels significantly reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration which causes blindness.
Found in: Brightly coloured fruit and veg, green tea and dark chocolate are all high in antioxidants, while seafood, meat, nuts and seeds contain zinc.
Why? Studies show that fish oils reduce blood levels of triglycerides – the type of fats associated with increased heart disease risk.
Found in: Oily fish.
Why? Adequate levels are associated with lower blood pressure.
Found in: A supplement is your best bet as you get older.
Why? They help to support healthy heart function.
Found in: Different foods contain different B vitamins, but a balanced diet with meat, fish, dairy, fruit, veg and wholegrains should provide enough of each.
Why? It’s vital to ensure the body produces enough of the T cells needed for a strong immune system.
Found in: Meat, fish, nuts and seeds.
Why? Research shows it’s vital for a healthy functioning immune system.
Found in: Sunlight and supplements.
Why? Studies have shown that these vital fats can reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis. They may also improve balance and muscle strength in the elderly.
Found in: Oily fish (see above).
This post originally appeared on Mirror.co.uk