A Balanced Diet and Nutrients are Key to Healthy Living
We all know the importance of a balanced diet. It contains the seven classes of food:
carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, and dietary fiber, with the appropriate proportions, of course. Very often, we tend to focus on getting the right quantities of all these carbohydrates, fats and proteins, while not realizing the importance of consuming enough vitamins and minerals. It is more important than ever to that women over 50’s daily diet includes these micronutrients in the right quantities. This is because, as you age, you become more prone to nutrient deficiencies.
The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy functioning of your body, and for its growth. The 13 vitamins are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (B6, B12, biotin, riboflavin, thiamine,
folate, and pantothenic acid). Vitamins play several roles in your body. They help your body obtain energy from food and resist infection. Vitamins also help your blood clot and maintain nerve health, among other functions. Minerals are also important for maintaining normal body function. Some minerals are required in large quantities, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, while others like fluoride and iodine are required in very small amounts.
Minerals and vitamins are measured in several ways, the most common ones being:
mcg – microgram
mg – milligram
IU – international unit
Women Over 50, And Their Needs
Aging is a meaningful experience, but it can come with some side effects. You may be familiar with the common side effects of aging, but one thing that you might not be aware of is that as you get older, the acid in your stomach decreases. This decrease may reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients the way it used to. This, along with a reduced need for calories, can mean that you may experience nutritional deficiencies. Consuming a balanced diet, rich with vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, is key to getting the required quantities of vitamins and minerals. However, your healthcare provider may suggest that you may need a little extra of some vitamins, and the mineral calcium through supplements. Experts recommend that as opposed to taking a pill, it is preferable to get your nutrients from
nutrient-rich foods because they have other things that are beneficial for your body. Choose food that is fortified with minerals and vitamins like vitamin D, calcium, and some B vitamins.
‘Fortified’ means that specific nutrients are added to the food so that you can meet your needs.
The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Women Over 50
Our bodies can absorb vitamin D when we are exposed to sunshine. However, this is not the
most reliable source because our skin needs sunscreens for sun protection, and many people live in areas that have very scarce sunlight, particularly during the winter months.
You can get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified foods, including
fortified milk. Nevertheless, research has shown that only about 10 percent of women aged
above 50 are able to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through food. For this reason, you may need to take a supplement like Metagenics Vitamin D3.
Getting the required quantities of vitamin D can help reduce your risk of developing breast,
esophageal, and colon cancers by as much as 50 percent. The recommended intake for the 50-70 age group is 15 mcg (600 IU) daily, while for those over 70, it is 20 mcg (800 IU) daily.
Many studies have demonstrated how adequate vitamin B intake can help you enjoy a higher quality of life during your menopause. Deficiencies of vitamin B have been linked to health consequences like stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and cognitive declines that lead to
Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a study published in 2018 by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Moreover, due to decreased stomach acid, between 10-30 percent of older Americans cannot absorb vitamin B12 from food. Therefore, you may take a supplement like Nature Made Super B-Complex. A recommended multivitamin combination is B6, B12, and folic acid.
Vitamin C has many well-known benefits. It boosts your immunity, reduces wrinkles and
inflammation, and decreases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that your body absorbs the amount it needs and gets rid of the excess amount through urine. Adults need 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, although some experts have argued that up to 500 milligrams are needed. Activated C Complex is a good vitamin C supplement that you may take in addition to fruits and vegetables.
As you age, your bone tissue gets broken down faster than a new one is made. This can
significantly hamper your daily life and makes it vital for you to maintain a steady intake of this mineral. It is essential for the normal functioning of your nerves and muscles. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis causes above two million bones to be broken in the US alone. This is greater than the risk of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer combined in women.
You can get a good supply of calcium from cheese, yogurt, tofu, almonds, and green leafy
vegetables. However, you may still need a supplement, like Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3,
that provides an additional 500 milligrams twice a day. Remember, there’s no need to take an
additional supplement of vitamin D if your calcium supplement already contains it.
As you grow older, your body gradually loses its ability to absurd magnesium from food. The
National Health and Nutrition Examination reports that this is why magnesium deficiency is
more common in older adults as compared to younger ones.
The common signs of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, leg cramps, sleep issues, migraines, high blood pressures, and anxiety. You can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by taking a multivitamin having up to 350 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium Glycinate supplement may be a good choice for you.
Omega-3s are essential for protecting aging women against cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. Adequate supplies of omega-3s help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, irregular heartbeats, high blood sugar, and inflammation. Flaxseed oil, walnuts, salmon and edamame, are good food sources of omega-3s. The recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA omega-3s per day. You can ensure that you get an adequate supply by including a supplement like Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega in your daily diet.
Collagen is one of the primary building blocks of your body. It makes up 75 percent of your skin and about 30 percent of your total body protein. Collagen keeps your skin firm and supple by supporting skin elasticity. It is also responsible for making your nails shiny and strong. As you age, the natural process of producing collagen slows down. By the time a woman turns 50, she may have lost as much as half of the total collagen in her skin. However, taking collagen supplements can not only slow down this process but can also stop the loss of further collagen.
There are two types of collagen supplements:
Hydrolyzed collagen – RDA: 10 grams per day
Undenatured type II collagen – RDA: 10 milligrams per day
You can also get collagen in the powder form, which could be added to beverages and other food items. A recommended supplement is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
Tips for Choosing Your Supplements
Many women over 50 may need to take supplements. If you decide to do so, here are some tips for you:
1) Most people find taking a single pill better than taking different ones, so choose a
2) Do your research before taking a multivitamin. Different brands may have different
combinations and quantities, so make sure that you make an informed choice. The brand
you choose must be reliable and FDA-approved.
3) Remember, overdosing is also a thing, and taking too much of a nutrient can do more
harm than good. Also, overdosing means that you will be paying for supplements that
you don’t need. So, check the labels to ensure that the doses are not too large.
4) Consult your doctor before starting a supplement. They may interact with a medication your are taking that is prescribed by your physician.
In the end, make sure your body gets what it needs to thrive as you age. The right combination of vitamins and minerals will contribute to a healthier lifestyle!