Women begin to experience subtle changes in the body upon reaching 40 years of age. Moods may be swinging like a pendulum, energy levels plummeting, and the signs of aging may be more prevalent on the skin. Don’t forget the increased risk of certain diseases and a weakening skeletal system.
Fortunately there are vitamins and minerals that can help in this major part of life. These come with a slew of health benefits that ensure a stronger body while keeping it protected from many medical conditions. Of course regular exercise and a healthy diet are equally important in achieving this.
Read on and find out what supplements are the best for women in their forties.
Best Supplements for Women 40 Years & Older
Bone density falters as women age and the risk of osteoporosis greatly increases as time goes by. Vitamin D helps maintain strong bones while delivering other benefits for this age like enhancing the immune system and regulating proper blood pressure levels. Vitamin D supplements can easily fulfill the daily recommended dosage of 600 IU. The highest tolerable intake of the vitamin is at 4,000 IU and going past that may trigger potential side effects. People with high blood levels of calcium or who are suffering from kidney disease should not take supplements and instead rely on dietary sources or sunlight for more controlled intake. Stock up on eggs, fatty fish, fortified cereals and milk, and of course spend more time under the sun. Vitamin K2 (MK-7) should be taken alongside vitamin D to prevent the formation of arterial plaque caused by the absorption of calcium by the arteries.
The risk of heart disease is greater once a woman reaches her forties. It strikes without warning hence the importance of building up defenses to protect the heart from the so-called “silent killer”. There are many supplements that can help minimize cardiovascular disease risk, and omega-3 fatty acids are among the most well-known. These are mainly found in fatty fish and their oils like halibut, mackerel, and salmon. Certain seeds and nuts (and their oils as well) like chia, flax, and walnuts are an option for those who are not into seafood. Omega-3 works by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, fighting off inflammation, and preventing blood clots. Two servings of omega-3 fish in a week is the recommended dietary intake which is equivalent to 500 milligrams.
There are many B vitamins available and all are used by the body for the creation of energy through food. Some of them are specifically beneficial for a 40 year old woman:
- Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin – This vitamin has antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage from triggering many serious health conditions that are prevalent in women in their forties. There is also some evidence that riboflavin reduces migraine frequency. Milk, eggs, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, and soybeans are excellent sources.
- Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic Acid – Pantothenic acid helps in the creation of red blood cells and certain hormones. It also lowers cholesterol and helps maintain proper digestion and good eyesight. Regular intake has been found to be efficacious in reducing signs of aging on the skin. Organ meats, legumes, mushrooms, potatoes, and whole-grain cereals are some of the foods rich in vitamin B5.
- Vitamin B6 / Pyridoxine – Women who are having trouble sleeping may rely on pyridoxine as it elevates dopamine and serotonin which then leads to better sleep quality. Shrimp, cheese, banana, and whole grains are food sources of vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9 / Folate – Primarily utilized for the prevention of birth defects and for its ability to enhance cellular development and regeneration. Folate can also lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine which is a known heart disease risk. The vitamin has been found to have positive effects for people with depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. Dietary sources include dark leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, avocado, beef liver, and okra.
Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that also helps maintain visual acuity and neurological function. It also helps in the production of collagen which can keep the signs of aging at bay. Vitamin A is believed to be able to suppress certain cancers by controlling malignant cells. Supplementation of vitamin A should always be monitored as overdosing on it can be highly toxic. Carrots, beef liver, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and eggs are some of the vitamin’s food sources.
The vitamin bolsters the immune system while ensuring that your youthful appearance persists as you reach 40 decades in life. Consumption of vitamin C rich foods have been linked to fewer instances of wrinkles and skin dryness. Other benefits include slowing down the progress of age-related macular degeneration, helping in collagen formation, maintaining stronger teeth and bones, and aiding in the body’s absorption of non-heme iron. Eat more citrus fruits and dark leafy greens to obtain adequate levels of vitamin C.
Women experience more rapid bone loss compared to men and this is exacerbated by menopausal transition. Maintaining an intake of calcium helps not only by maintaining bone strength but also by ensuring the proper function of the heart and muscles. The mineral is better absorbed by the body with the help of vitamin D but having too much of it can result to hypercalcemia which has symptoms like fatigue and arrhythmia. Dairy products are the best known sources of calcium while its non-dairy sources include broccoli, bok choy, kale, salmon, almonds, and sardines. Make sure to consult an expert first to determine your calcium levels and the right dosage in order to avoid overdosing. It is also recommended to take vitamin K2 (MK-7) as it regulates the intake of calcium to prevent disorders wrought by abnormal depositions of the mineral.
Perimenopausal women who experience consistent heavy bleeding during their monthly red days are at risk of anemia. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness are the usual indicators that there is a deficiency in iron due to blood loss. Eating iron-rich foods such as eggs, dried fruits, organ meats, fish, and some vegetables is a must to maintain the right levels of the mineral. Plant-based sources of iron, or non-heme iron, are better absorbed when eaten alongside vitamin C foods. Overdosing on iron leads to potentially dangerous side-effects so it is imperative to double check first if your iron levels are adequate through a ferritin test.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral in many bodily functions. Lower levels can result in accelerated aging and greater risk of diseases as deficiencies hamper the important processes magnesium is part of. Help maintain adequate levels of the mineral by eating more of its food sources like green leafy vegetables, bananas, chicken breast, carrots, and apples. Magnesium helps enhance muscle and bone strength, reduces blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels, minimizes migraine frequency and severity, and slows down agin
Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is important in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. A deficiency in HCL can trigger many digestive woes and it can also make it difficult for the body to absorb certain nutrients derived from dietary sources. It is also said that HCL levels taper off along with aging. A simple test can be done at home to determine if HCL levels are sufficient. This is done by sipping a tablespoon of lemon juice in the event of a stomachache. HCL levels may be low if the pain disappears, and vice versa. Consult expert advice before taking a supplement to increase HCL levels to determine the right dosage.
This article is written for informational purposes only based on research and should never be substituted for actual medical advice (same goes for anything you read on the Internet about medical matters). Always seek first the opinion of an expert regarding these supplements to determine what should be the one for your situation, the right dosage, and to avoid possible complications that may arise.
Have you tried any of these supplements? Do you know others that are beneficial for 40 year old women? Let us know in the comments.