Women may require less or more of certain nutrients, depending on what stage they are in and given their age.
As we age, however, we may not be able to sustain a healthy diet due to problems with chewing, lack of appetite, difficulty finding healthy food, or limited budgets. Supplements can fill in the gaps in your diet and lifestyle.
Since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t exercise the same regulatory function over supplements the way it does over medicinal drugs, it’s best to consult with your physician before taking any supplements.
What are the primary nutrients that women need for each life stage?
It is easy for women in their 20s to get caught up in a lifestyle of unhealthy eating habits due to busyness in school, work, or early parenting years.
Magnesium deficiency can put women at risk of high blood pressure and high blood sugar, mood swings prior to menstruation, and heart palpitations. Introducing magnesium into your routine could help you sleep better, calm your muscles, help you relax, to just name a few benefits.
A vitamin D supplement may also be necessary for women around this age if they’re unable to get sunshine due to spending most of the day indoors. Our bodies make vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium for strong bones and teeth.
Meanwhile, women may need to add potassium to their diets if they work out a lot. This mineral is also needed for bone health besides good blood pressure and kidney functioning.
While it is always important to drink responsibly, if you are drinking, milk thistle or silymarin are recommended to reduce liver damage and inflammation.
Women’s metabolism slows down when they hit their 30s so they would normally gain some weight around this time.
High levels of stress, excessive intake of processed food, extreme diets, food sensitivities, and antibiotics all contribute to digestive problems. Probiotics are recommended to ease some forms of diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. Taking chlorella powder, which comes from the algae chlorella, can encourage the growth of probiotics and antibodies that enhances your immune system. Probiotics are not all created equal. They are also all formulated for different purposes. There are probiotics for gut health, probiotics for bv prevention, to reduce inflammation, for immune function, and more! It’s amazing how many things probiotics can do for our bodies!
The 30s are also considered the most popular childbearing years so folic acid (also referred to as folate or vitamin B9) and iron supplements will be important for women. Taking folic acid six months before pregnancy and during pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of bearing a child with a brain or spinal cord defects. Folic acid also promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, and a positive mood.
Doctors also advise vitamin C and vitamin A supplements for aging skin.
Healthy omega-3-rich fish oil will help support the overall health of women as they enter perimenopause, the stage before menopause. Omega-3 can help ease PMS-related pain as it reduces inflammation. It also fights the effects of hormonal changes that cause hot flashes.
Probiotics will also aid in any hormone-related digestive issue, while magnesium will relax muscles, leading to better sleep and improved blood pressure and insulin levels.
Vitamin B-complex is also good for digestion, mood, and sleep.
Collagen seems to be all the rage these days. People are adding it to their smoothies, coffee, etc. Collagen supplements are recommended to continue caring for your skin as the collagen that’s naturally produced by your body declines with age.
Women in their 50s have to build up their calcium and vitamin D levels amid anticipated calcium deficiency leading to osteoporosis after menopause. Black cohosh may help to ease hot flashes and menopause-related symptoms through hormonal support, based on a 2016 study.
Unless advised by a doctor, women should stop taking iron supplements when they stop menstruating.
Meanwhile, you can slow down cognitive decline by taking vitamin B12 and omega-3. Turmeric is also known to support brain health besides helping strengthen joints and relieve inflammation. Coupled with biotin, turmeric also helps keep hair, nails, and skin healthy.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn may be more difficult as we age. If you’re taking medication against heartburn, chances are your B12 levels have gone down so you may need more of this vitamin.
Meanwhile, continued intake of omega-3 will support the growth of brain cells, enhance memory, and improve your mood.
B vitamins help with immunity, red blood cell production, nervous system function, cognitive development, and energy production.
Seventies and Beyond
Drinking protein powdered drinks along with B12 and calcium supplements may be ideal in your 70s, especially if you’re losing appetite for food.
Vitamin D is essential to maintain muscle mass and keep bones healthy.
Eating healthy food, exercising and undergoing regular health screenings should take precedence to maintain a healthy lifestyle but sometimes taking supplements can help even more. Again, consult with a medical professional prior to taking any supplements.