Get “unconfused” with this best guide to anti-aging supplements and vitamins for mature women over 50. Suer, the vitamins and nutrients we need to thrive can be delivered through certain foods, with a prime example being the immune boosting benefits of vitamin C in citrus fruits. However, to complement our diets and boost our intake of anti-ageing nutrients, it will do our bodies good to top up on a few of these key vitamins through direct and potent supplements. I am going to discuss my absolute musts when it comes to vitamins and supplements beneficial in healthy ageing and what each does for our overall health.
If you are looking to introduce a range of new vitamins with myriad health and anti-ageing benefits to your daily routine, read on!
VITAMINS FOR GUT HEALTH
Poor gut health is extremely dangerous. If you have an unhealthy gut, you are at higher risk of developing digestive problems, food allergies, depression and anxiety, skin conditions, weak immune system, sugar cravings, fatigue…the list could go on.
While these consequences would be frustrating for anyone, they are especially so for women over 50. After all, we have enough going on between menopause and major life changes. We don’t need to be having stomach aches, exhaustion and weight gain on top of that.
However, many women over 50 struggle with poor gut health or “leaky gut.” This is because, as we age, the bacterial balance in our gut is disturbed. Our guts are made up of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. When there is an imbalance between these two types of bacteria, our gut health suffers and we may experience some of the consequences listed above.
I take gut health very seriously. Not only does gut health affect our physical health, but if affects our mental health, too. Studies have found links between gut health and brain function. As we get older, our cognition and memory tend to decline. As someone who has seen her father’s brain functions decline with old age, I am determined to prevent this with myself as much as possible.
There are three main vitamins and supplements that I take to promote a healthy gut and immune system:
A probiotic is one of the best vitamins for women over 50. Oftentimes labeled as a vitamin or supplement, probiotics work wonders for gut health. Probiotics…
- Restore bacterial balance in the gut
- Improve digestion
- Improve brain function
- Boost the immune system (which weakens as we age!)
Glutamine is another vitamin that helps ensure optimal gut and immune system health Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in our bodies. There are two kinds: l glutamine and d glutamine. However, l glutamine is the kind our bodies actually need.
As an amino acid, glutamine is considered a building block for proteins- but it does so much more than that! L glutamine…
- Provides fuel to immune and intestinal cells
- Prevents infection and inflammation in the gut
- Boosts the immune system
- Protects against leaky gut
Digestive enzymes are proteins produced in our body that help break down food and turn it into fuel. However, as we get older, it’s harder for our bodies to produce enough of these enzymes. When we don’t have enough digestive enzymes, our guts suffer. I choose to take extra digestive enzymes in supplement form because they:
- Help my body fully absorb the nutrients in food
- Reduce inflammation (and even help ease arthritis symptoms)
- Improve digestion
- Ease heartburn
In my opinion, digestive enzymes are some of the best vitamins for women over 50 because they help boost gut health like nothing else can. I take one with every meal.
Vitamin B12 is often touted as the anti-ageing vitamin. Responsible for healthy blood cell production, vitamin B12 also plays an essential role in DNA production and nerve cell function. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to inflammation, weakness and fatigue, impaired vision and can even lower our cognitive function and alter our moods. Keeping our B12 intake at healthy levels is a must! While found naturally in meat and fish, vitamin b12 supplements are readily available and very cheap! Supplement into your diet and be sure you are getting all you need.
Our lifestyles recently may have seen a push towards the indoors, with outside activity seeming less and less attractive as the year has gone on. This has shielded us from our big and beautiful sun, our best source of vitamin D. While sun protection is a must, an overprotection to the sun can be detrimental.
Vitamin D is primarily responsible for keeping our bones healthy and strong. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to weaker bones, deteriorated bone structure and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is also referred to as the happy hormone for its ability to spur on a release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. During the cold and darker months of winter when we are exposed to the sun a lot less, many people report an overall dip in positivity and happiness which is sometimes referred to as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This dip has been attributed to lower vitamin D levels. To help keep your mind and body in tip-top shape, a vitamin D supplement is a must, especially if your sun exposure has been limited.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most readily available vitamin on this list, being found in a variety of foods you may eat on the daily. These include green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and of course citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to all sorts of complications in the body’s natural function, namely a lowered immune system and impaired healing. Vitamin C deficiency has also been attributed to weight gain and a slower metabolism, which as we age has a tendency to slow all on its own anyway. Not a great combination. Keeping our vitamin C levels up will ensure our bodies are able to more readily fight infection, stay strong and healthy and has the added bonus of regulating our metabolism, which can lead to greater weight loss potential.
Being a potent antioxidant, vitamin C also fights free radicals in the body, which are essentially unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. While not studied extensively enough, this poses vitamin C as a potential for staving off cancer.
NMN may not be one you are familiar with, and is relatively newly available to the market. NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide (try saying that ten times fast) is a naturally occurring compound that is produced by all of us – however, our production of NMN is finite, meaning one day it will stop altogether. For this reason, supplementing NMN into your daily intake becomes necessary as we get older.
NMN production in the body assists with insulin regulation, metabolic rate and has recently been found to sway our circadian rhythm, which is responsible for regulating appetite (more specifically when we eat) and our sleep cycles. As a way of regulating our insulin production, NMN can stave off diabetes and obesity by helping to regulate our metabolic function.
Healthy magnesium levels in the body will help fight back the signs of age thanks to its ability to help the body synthesise collagen (the building block of proteins in the body) and its ability to promote DNA repair. Not to mention magnesium is essential for energy production, so keeping our levels balanced is essential for vitality.
There are many voices claiming low iron levels are of little consequence in menopausal and post-menopausal women. We simply do not need it! While our need for iron is lowered, we may need to top up our iron levels from time to time. I have experienced iron deficiency now that I am menopausal due to my very low iron intake. An iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, anaemia, headaches and inflammation. If any of these symptoms are plaguing you, I highly recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional.
Collagen is the building block of proteins in the body, meaning it is responsible for keeping us all in one piece.
Collagen is found in abundance in youthful skin….mature skin, not so much. High collagen production keeps the skin firm and tight, giving it the elasticity we all strive for. As we age our collagen production lowers naturally, so keeping it topped up with a daily supplement is vital for maintaining healthy skin function and restoring a natural, youthful glow. Wrinkles be gone!
While this article is about the best vitamins for women over 50, I wanted to include a few supplements, as well. Maca powder is one of the supplements that I take on a daily basis. This Peruvian root has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s known as a hormone and mood balancing superfood. Here are some of my favourite benefits:
- Boosts energy
- Improves anxiety and depression
- Prevents free radical damage
- Balances estrogen levels
- Reduces hot flashes
- Improves brain function
I take maca on a daily basis, but I also take breaks. I take 0.5 teaspoon of maca daily for two weeks on followed by two weeks off. This helps keep my body regulated and prevent my hormones from becoming imbalanced.
It’s so important to know the best vitamins for women over 50. Our bodies are changing and if we don’t give them the vitamins and supplements they need, we’ll feel the consequences.
However, different things work for different people. The exact vitamin schedule that I take may not work for you. Instead, use it as a guideline and always consult your doctor before trying any new vitamin or supplement. When choosing vitamin brands, only buy from those that are reputable. This is to ensure that you both see results from the vitamins and stay safe.
Let me know in the comments below: Which vitamins do you take?
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