As a woman ages, nutritional needs are an aspect of wellness that may need an extra boost to keep you feeling your best. Supplements can help give you that boost since they are beneficial to different aspects of your well-being.
When it comes to choosing the right supplements for you it can be difficult to get a clear picture of what your body really needs. A person’s needs vary depending on certain factors. Men and women have very different needs.
Surprisingly, younger and older women have different nutritional needs as well. Women over 50 are more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients including but not limited to:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
These vitamins have great benefits for your overall well-being. More specifically they can help support the brain, bones, blood, heart, nerves, skin, hair, and nails.
Prior to adding any supplements to your normal routine, it is important to speak with your primary health care practitioner. Although supplements have great benefits, some may interact with prescription medications or other supplements.
A health care practitioner who knows your medical history is the best person to consult in order to make an informed decision. Along with a healthy and balanced diet, these key supplements can help to get you the nutrients you need daily.
Below you will find the best supplements to consider for women over 50.
Supplementing B vitamins can be very beneficial to overall wellness. They have a range of systems they support within the body including the brain and hair, skin, and nails. There are eight B vitamins which include:
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 (pyridoxine)
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folate)
- B12 (cobalamin)
Each of these vitamins have benefits to specific systems in your body. For example, vitamin B1 helps boost energy by helping your cells produce energy from nutrients.
Vitamin B2 plays a major role in maintaining metabolism. Your metabolism has a lot to do with the amount of energy you have.
Vitamin B6 is one of the components necessary for the body to form red blood cells. It also helps the body produce white blood cells which boosts the immune system.
Vitamin B9 helps the body produce red blood cells. These red blood cells transport nutrients to all parts of your body.
Vitamin B12 also helps your body make red blood cells and supports the nervous system.
B vitamins are water-soluble which means they are not stored within the body. Any vitamins which are not stored within the body should be consumed daily to maintain proper levels. The B vitamins are commonly included in a multivitamin which contains other important nutrients in your diet as well.
Multivitamins can help you ensure your body is receiving the vitamins and minerals it needs daily to function at its best. Overall the B vitamins are very beneficial to many different systems and functions of your body from the brain to the heart and more.
Much like the B vitamins, vitamin D also has many benefits to offer. Vitamin D supports heart health and also supports bone health by helping the body absorb calcium. In order to do this your body needs the right amount of vitamin D.
Unlike some nutrients, vitamin D can be produced naturally by going outside or sitting by a bright-lit window. This occurs when your skin is exposed to the sun. The UV rays from the sun interact with the cholesterol in the skin to produce vitamin D.
So, getting some rays can be a great way to help your body produce it naturally. However, you should always use sunscreen to protect your skin from too many harsh UV rays.
Maintaining vitamin D naturally can also be done through performing moderate exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes per day. Exercising regularly can also help with bone health and improve feelings of alertness.
Some of the best moderate exercises include:
- Outdoor landscaping
Although vitamin D can be obtained naturally, your body still may not have the necessary amount. As women age, their bodies do not produce as much natural vitamin D and it is also not as easily absorbed in the body.
If your vitamin D level is low a supplement may be the best decision. The supplements containing vitamin D will sometimes include other vitamins and minerals.
Magnesium is commonly added to help your body absorb more of the vitamin D. Vitamin D on its own is not as easily absorbed by the body.
Vitamin D can also be found in a multivitamin or other supplement. As mentioned before, it is important to speak to a health care practitioner prior to starting a new supplement.
There are many health benefits of vitamin K for women over 50. Vitamin K helps support bone health, which is very important in older women. As we age, our bones become more brittle as mentioned before.
Vitamin K is a nutrient that you can obtain by simply eating certain foods. Including these foods in your diet will provide you with the most benefit of vitamin K. The foods that contain the most vitamin K are green leafy vegetables including:
- Turnip Greens
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Mustard Greens
There are also a few foods that contain lower amounts of vitamin K including broccoli, cauliflower, meat and eggs. Eating a well-balanced diet may be sufficient when it comes to getting enough vitamin K.
If you need to add more vitamin K to your diet there are also supplements that contain it. The Healthy Directions Advanced Blood Flow Support supplement contains vitamin K and other vitamins and minerals that support the heart and circulatory system.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are "probiotic". What does this mean? It means that they help your body digest and absorb nutrients naturally. Probiotics are an easy way to make a big difference in feelings of bloat and stomach pain. Many contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, a form of beneficial bacteria which helps support the normal flora of the gut.
These good bacteria are available in a variety of ways. The easiest way to obtain probiotics is to eat fermented foods, such as yogurt and buttermilk. They are also present in fermented cabbage, kombucha, as well as pickles. Eating these foods routinely can help you support overall gut health as well as immune health.
In addition, probiotic supplements can be taken to obtain these good bacteria. There are many health benefits of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria support the immune system and overall wellness. There are various types of probiotic supplements, however not all of them are created equal. Look for a supplement that contains a variety of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria probiotic strains, and that comes in a form that allows the bacteria to survive harsh stomach acid and make it to your intestinal tract.
As you can see, there are great benefits from probiotics, especially for the digestive system and the immune system. Supporting these systems can be very beneficial to women over 50 as well.
In summary, as women age they need certain nutrients to keep the body well. A well balanced diet is a great way to obtain most of the supplements discussed. A well balanced diet includes lots of fresh vegetables, a moderate amount of meats, fruit, and dairy. The body needs foods from these food groups to support your wellness. However, it may not always be possible to get all the nutrients you need from just a well balanced diet.
Another great way to support overall wellness is to exercise at least once a day for at least 30 minutes. Some great ways to exercise are swimming, walking and biking. However, there are many different activities you can do to strengthen bone health and obtain vitamin D. These things are very important for women over 50 to maintain.
The other alternative to obtain these nutrients is taking supplements. Just like the nutrients in their other natural forms, supplements can be very beneficial to various systems and functions of the body. From the immune system to the bones and the digestive system these nutrients could help you support your overall wellness.
Regardless of the method you use to obtain these nutrients, you will be making a great change to benefit your health. There are many different supplements out there to choose from, but it is important to do your research.
As mentioned before, it is very important to consult your own primary health care practitioner prior to adding one of these supplements or practices to your daily routine. There are some interactions that may be caused by taking supplements with certain medications. The supplements, changes in diet, and exercises listed may also have the potential to affect pre-existing medical conditions. Speaking to your doctor is very important to ensure that these lifestyle changes are beneficial to your overall wellness.