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What Are The Nutrition Needs For Your Age?     First Posted: 07/17/11 03:27 AM ET   Updated: 09/15/11 06:12 AM ET

As we get older, nutrition rules change -- or at least get stricter. Some vitamins, such as B12, become even more important with time. But at what age do we need to make changes?

"These recommendations should be addressed at different stages of life, and it's probably safe to start thinking about them in your 30s," says Helen Rasmussen, Ph.D., a registered dietitian at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston. "Why wait until it's too late?"

Here's how -- and what -- to eat in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

Seek Out Vitamin B12
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Vitamin B12 is often overlooked. Needed to make blood cells and improve cognition, vitamin B12 gets into the body along with animal proteins like eggs or meat.

Most young people who aren't vegetarians easily get it in their diet. But for the body to use B12, it needs to dissolve it away from the protein. This gets more challenging with age, as the body's level of stomach acid decreases.

B12 not bound to protein is found in fortified cereal and supplements and is more readily absorbed by the body. Starting at age 50, you should get most vitamin B12 from these types of fortified foods.

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Filed by Emma Gray  |