How To Supplement For Your Decade?
Now we are going to focus on those supplements that are especially needed for each decade and when we might need extra vitamins and minerals.
This post is aimed at women in particular.
Taking supplements has become a way of life for many of us even though we try to eat healthily and to derive as many of our necessary nutrients as possible through our diet.
One of the reasons to consider is that soil quality in which the produce we consume is grown is not always at its best, it can be low in minerals and other nutrients.
And sometimes just eating food alone is not enough with Vitamin D being the obvious example. We could never derive enough Vitamin D through our diet and of course our bodies produce it from sunlight on the skin via cholesterol.
Vitamin D is needed across every decade from birth onwards - particularly during the winter months when we are unable to absorb any Vitamin D from the sun.
In the case of women, they will definitely benefit during those hormonal shifts (pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause) with essential fatty acids and some amino acids to help them function in the most optimum way.
Our bodies need Vitamin C in order to efficiently convert the food and drinks we consume into energy as well as helping us to absorb other vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Vitamin C also helps our body cells communicate with each other, contributing to the synthesis of the hormones so they regulate your mood and ability to concentrate while helping the body respond better to exercise and stress. Vitamin C helps our immune system to function normally. Most of us should take 1000 mg of Vitamin C daily and if you notice the start of sniffles or more, take that same dose every few hours (to bowel intolerance) until you feel better.
The teens and twenties
It is good to remember that pre-teens and teens (especially girls and young women who experience heavy periods) can be at risk of iron deficiency anemia. In addition to eating plenty of iron rich foods such as leafy greens, a supplement may be needed. Go easy to start with to ensure any iron supplement you choose is gentle on the bowels. A blood test is a wise move as iron supplements can lead to constipation.
Those who are on oral contraceptives may find their ability to absorb certain nutrients is affected - nutrients including folic avid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, C and E as well as magnesium, selenium and zinc. A B-complex or multivitamin would be helpful to supplement.
You may have decided to change to a vegan diet during your teens and twenties (or any other decade), in which case you might have a low intake of B12, omega-3, iron, selenium, iodine, calcium and vitamin D.
This is the time when many women might decide to come off the birth control pill. The advice from some experts is to take a probiotic to boost the gut microbiome. Of course many of us will already be aware of how important it is to take a probiotic when taking a dose of antibiotics. As well as repopulating the gut with a probiotic, you can help by eating plenty of fermented and fiber-rich food.
You may have come off the pill in this decade in order to become pregnant. Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects and it is advised to take it for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Always look for non-synthetic active forms of folate. At the same time, omega-3 is necessary for both mother and baby as being deficient has been linked to postnatal depression.
The forties and fifties
When approaching the perimenopause and then the menopause itself, women will find their hormones fluctuate. Omega-3 will help to support brain health while magnesium can be very effective in times of high stress or anxiety.. Suggestions when supplementing with magnesium are magnesium citrate or glycinate.
At the same time, declining ostrogen levels can slow digestion, possibly leading to constipation, bloating or gas.
Once again, raising Vitamin D levels is vital to support bone health.
The sixties and beyond
With aging comes an increasing need for extra protein to help maintain muscle mass and bone density. While the focus should be on diet, a supplement can add security.
And something else to consider is supplementing with these superfoods. Superfoods are always a great addition to your daily diet. They are rich in the micronutrients your body needs to thrive and to function, micronutrients including vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and iron. They may also have antioxidants, which are natural plant molecules that can benefit your overall health.
Benetti, C., et al. (2015). Therapeutic effects of vitamin D in asthma and allergy [Abstract].
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25985947. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).
Conti, P., & Kempuraj, D. (2016). Impact of vitamin D on mast cell activity, immunity and inflammation.
http://pubs.sciepub.com/jfnr/4/1/6/. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).
Gruber-Bzura, B. M. (2018). Vitamin D and influenza—prevention or therapy?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121423/. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).