A healthy diet that includes a variety of foods from all of the food groups can help men older than 60 stay physically fit and mentally sharp. It is important for older men to eat a variety of foods so that they meet all of their nutrient needs. There are some specific vitamins that men older than 60 especially require.
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One in four men older than age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Disease. Calcium is important for helping men maintain bone health. Men older than age 60 need 1,200 mg of calcium a day. One cup of skim milk contains 300 mg of calcium and 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt contains 415 mg. Other food sources of calcium include cheese, salmon or sardines with the bones, calcium fortified orange juice, calcium fortified bread, tofu, spinach and broccoli.
Adequate intake of vitamin D is also recommended for men older than age 60. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and bone mineralization. It is also needed for immune health and reduction of inflammation. Poor vitamin D status in elderly men has been linked to bone fractures, according to the World Health Organization. Men age 60 to 70 need 10 mcg of vitamin D a day, while those older than age 70 need 15 mcg. Food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, fortified milk, eggs, fortified orange juice and margarine.
Vitamin B12 is needed for red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. While most men have adequate intakes of vitamin B12, they may have difficulty in absorbing it due to a lack of acidity in the stomach. Poor vitamin B12 status can lead to confusion, dementia, imbalance and depression. Elderly men who are vitamin B12 deficient may require injections to meet needs. Consult with your doctor if you are concerned about your vitamin B12 status.
A daily intake of zinc is needed to help maintain immune function, protein synthesis, cellular activity and proper wound healing. Most men older than the age of 60 do not adequately meet their nutrient needs for zinc, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Poor zinc status can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, taste abnormalities and mental lethargy. Men older than age 60 need 11 mg of zinc a day. Food sources of zinc include oysters, crab, pork, chickpeas, cashews and fortified breakfast cereals.