In an ideal scenario, we can get the bulk of our nutrient requirements met through intaking a diet comprising of real, whole foods with loads of fresh fruits and veggies. While this should be our key focus at any age, specific needs will possibly need to be met via vitamins/ supplements, the particulars of which alter with age.
Women over 50 have specific micronutrient requirements that take into consideration bone and vision health and hormonal balance. Whether you have already experienced conditions or imbalances that need addressing or are merely acting precautionarily, read on to discover which are the best vitamins for women over 50.
Assess Your Nutritional Needs
A woman in her fifties has different nutritional needs than one in her twenties or early thirties—your body changes during and after menopause. Estrogen levels decline, leading to a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. You may also experience irregular heartbeat, bone loss, fatigue, night sweats, poor sleep, and other common menopause signs.
Another issue is weight gain. Menopause causes fluctuations in fat distribution and body composition, which may cause obesity. Visceral fat mass increases by 44 percent and abdominal fat mass increase by about 32 percent and, according to research published in June 2017, issue of Menopause Review.
Active fat or visceral fat, or wraps around your internal organs, contributing to the onset of diabetes, breast cancer, insulin resistance, and heart disease.
Besides, lean mass decreases as you grow. Muscle loss slows down your metabolism, which further leads to weight gain. These fluctuations can increase your risk of cardiovascular disorders over a period, the major cause of mortality in postmenopausal women.
Daily exercise and a balanced diet are critical for preventing these issues. As the BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) points out, healthy eating may improve the symptoms associated with estrogen decline and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The best vitamins for women over fifty should fill nutritional gaps and address these challenges. Specific nutrients like vitamin D and calcium are particularly essential at this phase in your life.
Best Vitamins for Women Over 50
Vitamins are not a cure-all. However, they can help prevent nutrient deficiencies, leading to overall better health. For instance, Vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of fractures and falls, as confirmed in the November 2014 issue by the journal Women’s Health.
Low levels of this nutrient spike bone turnover rate and can worsen osteoporosis symptoms .
While men over fifty can also benefit from supplementing with calcium, women are particularly at risk of developing osteoporosis due to the role that estrogen plays in maintaining bone mass. That is, estrogen naturally declines as we age.
Research shows that lack of exercise, a poor diet, and high-stress levels also put women at greater risk for osteoporosis. Food sources include dairy (ideally organic and whole), sardines, sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, and blackstrap molasses.
Considering that women over fifty should be getting a minimum of 800 mg each day of calcium (if not nearer to 1,000-1,200), supplementing high-quality calcium might be needed .
Unfortunately, women are more prone to be stressed than men on average, and we all go through our body’s magnesium stores at quicker rates due to chronic stress.
Research shows that women with sufficient magnesium levels are least likely to develop type 2 diabetes (along with a wholesome diet), and magnesium carries out more than 600 critical functions in the body.Along with supporting stress levels and healthy sleep, magnesium also plays a role in cardiovascular health and can ease constipation .
[Also Read: B12 & Magnesium Benefits ]
3. Omega 3’s
This is another one that can surely be included in men’s supplement plan over the age of fifty. Still, sufficient levels of healthy fats are particularly essential for women’s hormonal balance.
The typical Standard American Diet (SAD) is far too low in omega 3’s and high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, and it can be tough to meet our requirements for these anti-inflammatory fats with food alone (unless you consume a minimum of three servings per week of wild-caught, fatty fish).
Omega 3’s work to fight depression and anxiety, improve bone and joint health, reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, help fight overall inflammation, and prevent cancer, which can deteriorate symptoms of menopause .
[Also Read: Best Omega-3 Products for Healthy Skin & Body]
Having healthy gut flora is critical for everybody, but the right probiotic supplement can benefit women over 50. Probiotics support healthy blood cholesterol levels, help support healthy thyroid function (therefore helping to regulate metabolism), and strengthen immune function.
Certain probiotic products are combined with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and other minerals and vitamins exclusively made for women over 50 .
[Read: Best Probiotics For Women]
5. Fill Up on Vitamin C
The best vitamins for women over fifty should also offer vitamin C. The daily prescribed dose is 75 milligrams, but higher intakes are regarded as safe for healthy people.
When taken in sufficient doses, this nutrient can improve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented in the journal Osteoporosis International April 2015 edition.
Another research article that appeared in the July 2013 issue of the British Journal of Cancer suggests that sufficient dietary intakes of vitamin C before breast cancer diagnosis may increase survival rates, especially in women above 65.
Moreover, supplementing your diet with vitamin E and C can raise antioxidant enzyme levels in the bloodstream and reduce oxidative stress.
Considering these reasons, it makes sense to take daily vitamins after age fifty. Beware, though, that dietary supplements cannot replace whole foods. What you consume and how much you take has the most significant impact on your health.
Research shows that this population(women aged over 50) is at higher risk for nutritional deficiencies due to changes related to prescription medications, chronic illnesses, and general aging. A good quality supplement should include vitamins C, B-12, and D, along with calcium, iron, zinc, and trace minerals.
[Also Read: Best Vitamin C Supplements]
While aging can put women over 50 at risk for some nutrient deficiencies, eating a whole foods diet and developing a smart supplement plan can keep you healthy, address current symptoms, and prevent future ones.