Are you taking in all the micronutrients your body requires to work and feel its best?
These days, this isn’t an easy feat. The truth is, the fruits and vegetables we eat today don’t contain nearly as many nutrients as they did back in the 50’s.
This is largely due to two major culprits:
- Nutrient-depleted soils due to intensive agriculture methods
- Overuse of chemical fertilizers and “pest” control which affects plant tissues
While fruits and vegetables are a lot healthier than other food that’s offered in the deli section of supermarkets or drive-thrus, sadly, these once powerful foods from the ground are being stripped of their nutrients year after year.
According to a study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the majority of Americans aren’t receiving their proper intake of micronutrients. And this isn’t because everyone is obsessed with McDonalds (even though some people definitely are).
While this is a concerning fact for anyone living in America, it’s especially concerning for women over 50 who rely on specific nutrients to keep them feeling as healthy and energetic as possible.
In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about our declining nutrient problem, how to fight against it, and while we begin to replenish our soils, what supplements to take in the meantime.
Which Types of Nutrients We’re Missing from Today’s Fruits and Vegetables
According to the 2004 study by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, vegetables and fruits are losing their amount of:
While everyone required these types of nutrients, there are also a few other types that are beneficial specifically for women over 50. Some of these nutrients can be found in organic fruits and veggies that have been grown in fertile soil, however, others are difficult to obtain through only fruits and vegetables.
On top of that, it’s difficult to tell whether or not the food you’re eating actually contains the proper amount even if you’re sure it’s from an organic farm.
So, along with an organic-based diet, we suggest looking into these best supplements for women.
Best Supplements for Women Over 50
Depending on your specific situation, there are a few supplements that do wonders for women.
Taking too many supplements that your body doesn’t need can actually do more harm than good. That being said make sure you chat with your nutritionist, physician or general doctor about your supplement plan before diving in.
While we can receive all the vitamin D we need from simply spending 15-30 minutes basking in the sun, this ability is hindered for different reasons such as air pollution and changing seasons.
Also, if you’re over 50, you’re probably being cautious about how much sun intake your getting, since spending significant time out in the sun can boost our chance of developing skin cancer.
While you can get vitamin D in egg yolks, fatty fish and soy milk or cereals, if you’re wanting to make sure you receive your recommended vitamin D intake every day which is 15 mcg, you’ll want to take supplements.
Vitamin D helps with diminishing muscle strength and bone metabolism and helps prevent with hair loss.
If you’re going to pick just one supplement, calcium should be it.
As women age, women experience declining estrogen levels and since estrogen is a key component in building and maintaining bone mass, older women run the risk of developing certain conditions such as osteoporosis which weakens bones.
You can also find calcium in organic broccoli and leafy greens, sesame seeds, tahini, prunes, and other dried fruits and certain organic dairy products.
Since women need a lot of calcium every day (about 800mgs) it’s best to incorporate a supplement into your daily routine as well.
If you have already incorporated a healthy daily intake of magnesium, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes is slim.
However, on top of diabetes prevention, magnesium is also great at providing these benefits:
A healthy daily dose of magnesium for women over the age of 50 is 320 milligrams.
You can find magnesium in food such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and amaranth, however, if you’re not munching on these foods on a regular basis, you should consider taking a supplement.
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Older women also have decreased amounts of B vitamins in their system.
B6 and B12 are especially important for women as they lower an individual’s chance of heart disease and stroke and provide a lot of energy.
10 - 20% of Americans over the age of 50 require B12 supplements because they’re unable to absorb this important vitamin from foods due to diminished stomach acid.
Find a supplement that contains 400 mcg of folic acid, 2.4 mcg of B12 and 1.5 mg of B6.
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Maca is an incredible root derived from the Andean mountains of Peru. It helps balance the body’s stress response and is rich in vitamin, amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals.
This magical root is also wonderful for women who are experiencing menopause symptoms as it decreases the intensity of hot flashes and night sweats. It also helps reduce common symptoms such as depression, anxiety and lack of libido.
You can buy maca root in powder form to add to your smoothies or in capsule form.
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Our bodies need omega 6s and omega 3s to function at its best. While omega 6s can be found in oils, nuts, and seeds, many people are actually deficient in omega 3s.
You can find omega 3s in salmon, walnuts, flaxseed oil and edamame, so make sure you include these foods in your diet. Since the recommended daily dosage is 1,000 mg per day, it’s recommended to take supplements as well.
Omega 3s are amazing for women over 50 because they help protect the body from developing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis and can prevent cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
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Probiotics are amazing for everyone, however, women over 50 will especially find them beneficial as they support regular blood cholesterol, thyroid function, and immune function.
There are many different probiotics on the market these days, but women over 50 should specifically look for those which contain these ingredients:
- B. lactis Bl-04 (helps with digestive issues)
- B. infantis (helps decrease inflammation)
Finding High-Quality Vitamins
Now that you’re all set up with all the supplements and information you need to continue thriving through to your 90s, it’s time to face some hard facts: Finding high-quality vitamins and honest manufacturers takes a bit of research.
In fact, distributors and manufacturers aren’t required to apply for an FDA approved stamp before marketing their supplements or products.
So, to make sure you’re buying quality supplements, you should keep a few points in mind.
Check the Label and Manufacturer
Taking the time to check out the label and who manufactured the product can tell you a lot about the supplement.
Make sure the label lists active and inactive ingredients and doesn’t contain any chemicals, sweeteners, stearic acid, hydrogenated oils or flavors. Also, keep an eye out for potential allergens.
Next, do a quick search on the manufacturer and see if they’ve been FDA approved and what the general public says about them and their products.
Check the Dosage
Checking the dosage on the bottle will make sure that the supplement you’re looking at offers the proper amount of nutrients you need.
We mentioned a few supplement dosage suggestions above, however double check with your doctor or physician since every human body is different.
If the supplement doesn’t offer the recommended dose, you won’t be gaining all the vitamin and nutrient supplements you need.
Best Supplements for Women Over 50: Final Thoughts
While getting your daily intake of vitamins and nutrients through delicious, fresh food is ideal, it’s unfortunately not a reliable source anymore.
By chatting with your doctor and listening to your body, you’ll be able to come up with an organic diet and supplement combo that helps to nourish your body the way it’s asking you to.
Learning about your own body is a lifelong adventure.
As new studies come up revealing how different herbs and plants can benefit our bodies in various ways, while paired with organic and soil-fertilizing practices, we’re sure this adventure will become more exciting in years to come.