When women age, it's important to recognize the significance of vitamins and minerals in maintaining good health. These essential nutrients play a crucial role in supporting the body's functions and bolstering the immune system to ward off illnesses.
As women over 40, we may experience the onset of perimenopause or menopause, which are natural stages in a woman's life. While these transitions are inevitable, we can take proactive measures to manage their symptoms by prioritizing our physical and mental well-being through the right vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet is key to achieving optimal health, as certain trace elements, though needed in small quantities, are still indispensable.
As we navigate this stage of life, it's important to ensure that our bodies receive vital nutrients such as those listed below to support our overall health.
Magnesium can regulate the neuronal function of a woman’s brain and this makes it helpful in warding off depression. Studies have shown that the inclusion of magnesium can keep the symptoms of depression at bay.
According to the National Institutes of Health, women over 40, should have a daily intake of about 320 mg of magnesium through dietary sources. This recommended amount can also help safeguard a woman’s cardiovascular health.
Magnesium is beneficial in dilating the blood vessels, dissolving blood clots, and preventing coronary artery spasm.
Magnesium is also one of the key players in bone health. Women who have been shown to be magnesium deficient have also been found to be at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
This is because a magnesium deficiency may create adverse reactions in the body’s calcium metabolism while affecting the reproduction and function of hormones that are responsible for regulating calcium.
Looking back at this list of possible symptoms and conditions, it is more than a coincidence that more than half the population in developed countries is believed to have inadequate magnesium levels.
Magnesium Food Sources:
Fish, avocado, banana, raw spinach, squash seeds, beans, and lentils.
Women’s bone health suffers less if the body is in perfect ‘vitamin and mineral' balance before reaching menopause. The amount of calcium we consume has to be monitored. Too much calcium is not a good thing, although we have been led to believe we need massive amounts for strong, healthy bones.
We need a balance of calcium with magnesium for our bones to be healthy. In the absence of adequate magnesium, calcium cannot form bone.
Calcium is available from a variety of food sources, not only dairy products. Many health experts believe that calcium obtained from plant sources is better utilized than that from dairy.
Women below 50 should have 1,000 milligrams of calcium in a day, along with the required amount of magnesium, and women over 50 require 1200 milligrams per day, plus their magnesium.
Besides being good for the bones, calcium is also needed by the body for muscle contraction, cell signaling, and several nerve functions. Calcium is crucial for our heart and muscles and for our blood to clot.
Calcium Food Sources:
Cheese, spinach, tofu, yogurt, sardines, sesame seeds, and collard greens.
Many women entering their perimenopausal stage are suffering from adrenal fatigue. Therefore, getting the required amount of B vitamins daily helps support the healthy functioning of the adrenal glands.
Vitamins B6 and B12 are essential for the production of the hormone serotonin, which helps boost a woman’s mood, staving off the symptoms of mood swings and depression which are very common among perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Brain fog, confusion, and difficulty concentrating are just some of the many symptoms that women over 40 experience. There can be contributing factors for this, but a lack of B vitamins is one, so make sure your intake is adequate.
Vitamin B Food Sources:
Spinach, broccoli, beets, lentils, asparagus, turnip greens, and parsley.
One of the most important vitamins for good health! Vitamin C is crucial for heart health as it plays a role in vasodilation. Mature women who have problems with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and congestive heart failure can benefit from taking 500mg of vitamin C daily.
The American Heart Journal showed that the regular intake of vitamin C can help reduce heart failure mortality rate.
As an added bonus, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that mature-aged women who consumed vitamin C daily had better skin complexion and fewer wrinkles. This is due to vitamin C acting as an antioxidant, which helps fight against the signs of aging.
Vitamin C Food Sources:
Broccoli, tomato, papaya, cauliflower, kale, sweet potato, artichoke, and kiwi.
In addition to immune and skin health benefits, zinc also supports overall hormonal balance in women over 40. This is particularly crucial during menopause when hormone levels fluctuate dramatically. By incorporating zinc-rich foods like grass fed beef into their diets, women can potentially alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings associated with menopause.
If you want to ensure optimal zinc intake, oysters take the crown as the best source. Zinc supports healthy immune function, which becomes increasingly important as women age and their immune systems may weaken. Furthermore, zinc is essential for collagen production, aiding in maintaining skin elasticity and preventing signs of aging. But, if you're like me and can't eat shellfish, don't be discouraged, there are other options for us below!
Zinc Food Sources:
Eggs, whole grains, Grass-fed beef, seeds, nuts and legumes
Vitamins and Minerals for Women Over 40-Conclusion
In conclusion, vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health for women over 40. As our bodies age, we must be proactive in ensuring that we are getting the necessary nutrients to support our changing needs. By incorporating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, along with targeted supplementation when necessary and eating intuitively, we can promote vitality and longevity.
Remember, taking care of ourselves is not a luxury but a necessity. So let's make a commitment to prioritize our health by fueling our bodies with the right vitamins and minerals. Start today and embrace the power of nutrition to thrive in this wonderful phase of life!
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