10 Supplements Every 40+ Woman Should be Taking
Ya know this aging thing really is something! As if looking older wasn’t bad enough, our bodies slow down, muscle mass decreases making us weaker, weight increases making us fatter, and then menopause hits with all its lovely symptoms - Really?!! Top that off with the onset of disease and more doctor visits and this getting older thing really IS a dirty word!
Our culture wants to tell us that this is the natural order of things, we should just accept it and move on. But I'm here to tell you that with just a tweak in nutrition and some added supplementation we can actually slow down the effects of aging and maintain our bodies youth and vitality longer!
In this post I'm sharing the most common complaints that women over 40 share. If you are experiencing any of these there is hope and HELP - read on my friend!
Aging really decreases our digestive systems ability to work properly and all of a sudden things we used to eat start to 'fight back' as those funny commercials say. How does this happen? As our bodies age our hormones, enzymes and other natural body processes slow down. In the case of digestion enzymes decrease and gas, bloating, and gastrointestinal issues rear their ugly heads. But don't lose hope! The addition of these supplements might help you alleviate them all together.
If decreased enzymes are making digesting your food difficult, try adding digestive enzymes at mealtime to aid in digestion. Proper digestion of the food we eat helps our bodies absorb all the nutrients we need, helping our bodies stay healthier, longer but that's not all. When we don't fully digest our food we have tendencies to gain weight, feel sluggish, and actually can slow down our entire metabolism! By adding a digestive enzyme you can help your body easily digest your food, increase energy and help your body to actually drop weight. Score!
If your tummy trouble goes deeper into your intestines and effects the elimination process probiotics may be what you need. Actually, probiotics are a huge buzz word these days when it comes to optimal overall health. They are believed to increase the beneficial bacteria in our guts which experts are claiming is the link to your entire body wellness. A good quality probiotic can improve mood, help keep weight down, and some even say lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke (all leading killers of aging women by the way). *Take caution with probiotics though. People with depressed immune systems should not take probiotics so consult your physician before adding this to your diet to avoid any health related risks.
Lack of Sleep
As women get older one of the most common complaints is difficulty falling or staying asleep. As a matter of fact, insomnia affects women more than men and studies show that 40 percent of menopausal women suffer from some form of sleep irregularity. A lack of sleep can cause a myriad of health problems and is critical to the bodies restorative processes that maintain overall wellness so it is important to address sleep disorders as soon as they arise. These little gems may help you start getting that elusive sleep you've been craving.
I don't know about you, but no one ever stressed that I should make sure I get enough magnesium and that's a crying shame so I'm telling you today to prioritize this! Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and inflammation (believed to be the leading cause of disease) so it’s really important to make sure you are getting what your body needs. Magnesium also aides in restful sleep by helping the body and mind relax and regulating the hormone melatonin which guides sleep cycles in the body. Interestingly, magnesium works with GABA (the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for quieting down nerve activity) and is the same neurotransmitter that prescription sleep aides work with. But prescription sleep aides can be habit forming and magnesium is NOT. It is a natural, inexpensive solution for regulating sleep AND super important to add to your regimen.
Decreased Bone Density
Osteoporosis, brittle bones and fractures have long been a concern for aging women. Undoubtedly most of us have been told that as we age we need to take supplements to prevent osteoporosis. We know now that weight bearing exercises also help maintain healthy bones but if you aren't hitting the gym or yoga studio as often as you should it's probably a good idea to supplement too.
While we now now that our bones absorb most of the calcium they need before the age of 30 and that calcium supplementation doesn’t necessarily build bone density it’s still important to add it to our diet to prevent bone density losses. When the body is deficient in calcium it will go to the bones to draw from there to meet its needs, depleting our bones even more as we age. We can help prevent this with a calcium supplement to meet our daily calcium needs and preserve the bone density we already have.
Impaired Brain Function
Another common complaint among aging women is ‘foggy brain’, memory loss and those dreaded ‘senior moments’ where thoughts disappear right out of our heads. If you are experiencing this some simple supplementation can help promote, clear, sustained thinking and memory.
Omega 3’s are great for lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease but they also have wonderful effects on the brain, memory and cognitive function. Unfortunately, Omega 3’s can only be obtained by either food or supplements, our bodies don't produce them and this is why they are considered ‘essential’ fatty acids. The balancing of Omegas in the body is important and due to the Standard American diet most Americans actually show an imbalance of Omega 3’s as compared to Omega 6’s so Omega 3 supplementation can help balance those levels for more optimum health AND clearer thinking.
I first heard of the importance of folate when I was pregnant with my kids, but I like many others my age incorrectly associated this with my bodies increased needs during pregnancy and the prevention of birth defects. Actually, folate is a B vitamin and is needed by our bodies at every age. While it is found several places in our diet I most often associate it with being present in leafy greens. If you don’t get enough greens in your diet (honestly, that takes work with our standard diet) then folate is a good thing to supplement as we age. Most Americans are not technically deficient in folate, but they are only getting the bare minimum as to not register as 'deficient' per se. Signs of a folate deficiency are difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these try to supplement folate first, before you attempt to treat those symptoms with pharmaceuticals.
Inflammation is another big buzz word today. It is now believed to be the precursor to all disease. Our bodies become inflamed when they are fighting off foreign substances like free radicals. With the increase of processed foods, chemicals, and pollution our bodies are often in a chronic state of inflammation. We can easily help ourselves decrease inflammation and give our bodies what they need to stay in balance by decreasing the introduction of chemicals and toxic substances in our lives (toxic load) and by adding anti-inflammatory dietary supplements to strengthen our bodies.
Turmeric is an AH-MAZING and powerful herb. It has many benefits worth researching and I suggest you do! One of the most incredible benefits from turmeric is its ability as an anti-inflammatory agent. As a matter of fact studies show that turmeric is THE most powerful anti-inflammatory agent in the world. I would say that turmeric is a must have on your supplement list!
Depressed Immune Function
We all know that aging affects our immune system. That’s why young children and the elderly are most at risk for communicable diseases, but it doesn’t have to be something that slows us down if we supplement and keep that immune system healthy and strong.
While often most thought of as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and associated with aide in depression vitamin D also helps boost the immune system. It is found to be helpful at reducing heart disease and even protecting against the flu. Vitamin D deficiencies are common so get your levels checked at your next doctor appointment and make sure to consciously watch your intake.
Hormonal Imbalance has to be the most common complaint of women over 40. Perimenopause is the onset of the difficulties that come as a result of changing hormones and often leave women uncomfortable, irritable and even causes weight gain. The good news is there are some supplements that ease the symptoms of menopause and make it tolerable - that’s definitely worth adding to your diet!
B12 concerns are not just for vegans. B12 benefits the nervous system and is critical for hormonal balance. While the process of balancing hormones is complicated studies show that a lack of vitamin B12 does affect many of the reporting processes in the endocrine system. It is interesting that most meat eating people with B12 deficiencies are in the over 50 age group where digestion is decreasing as stomach acids are depleted. B12 deficiencies are also often found in those who follow a vegan diet with no animal products so supplementation is critical for those who eat a plant based diet. As we age supplementing with B12 is a good safety net for hormonal balance.
Vitamin E is my new fav! Who knew a little boost in vitamin E would have me feeling so good! E helps balance hormones naturally, helps relieve symptoms of PMS and reduces hot flashes. Yessss! It also can help lessen the duration and flow during menstruation, aides with weight loss and lessens anxiety and fatigue (among many other things). Definitely check this one out! Since I have started taking vitamin E I have had no more hot flashes, or night sweats. That little supplement is worth its weight in gold!
Are you a woman over 40 experiencing any of these things? Are you supplementing to help your symptoms? I’d love to hear from you!
Are you ready to add supplements to your diet but not sure where to start? For many years I experienced many of these symptoms but I had trouble weeding through the marketing hype and I had concerns of safety and efficacy in the options available. So instead of helping myself I buried my head in the sand and avoided it all together - and I suffered through some really uncomfortable years because of it.
If you are in the same boat I created this free guide for you check it out!