3 Supplements for Overall General Wellness in Menopause & Beyond
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
A well-balanced eating plan consisting of natural, whole foods is a great way to get the nutrients your body needs to function optimally, especially if the plan focuses on a wide variety of plant foods. An eating plan rich in plants offers antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibre offering the most benefit for overall health and the risk for illness or disease.
But, it’s not always possible to eat perfectly every day. Our modern-day lifestyle can make it quite difficult to get sufficient amounts of certain nutrients. There are also times in our life in which we may fall short of nutrients. The aging process, stress and the hormonal changes that come with menopause have a significant influence on our nutritional requirements. At this time of life, dietary supplements may be a wise choice.
.As a holistic nutritionist, I offer a personalized approach to wellness and the use of supplements. We have our own unique nutritional needs. However, for overall general wellness, there are 3 key supplements I like to recommend to most of my clients as they approach the age of 50. Preventing a deficiency in these nutrients may lead to fewer health issues after menopause.
1. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin", has many different roles in the body. One of its most important jobs is in the area of bone health. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium more efficiently and it helps in the maintenance of muscle strength. When we don’t get enough vitamin D (and calcium) regularly, bones can become weak and brittle and the risk of osteoporosis increases. Vitamin D also supports heart health, immunity and the nervous system.
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun. As we age, this process becomes increasingly difficult because our skin thins significantly after menopause. It is also very difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone.
2. OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Some of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA & EPA) include reduced inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis; improved brain function and mental health; and reduced risk of heart disease.
ALA is considered a true essential fatty acid which means that we must obtain it from our diet. Beans, walnuts, flax (the winner here!), chia and hemp seeds are rich sources of ALA.
Our bodies are designed to make DHA and EPA from ALA. It is DHA and EPA that offer the most health benefits. Cold water fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are a good source of EPA and DHA. Algae is a plant-based source of EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, after menopause and with age, our bodies are unable to do the conversion very efficiently. If your diet isn't rich in good quality fish or plant-based omega-3 sources, then you may want to consider this supplement.
3. VITAMIN B COMPLEX
Often referred to as “stress vitamins”, B vitamins help boost energy and help maintain the health of our heart, brain, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
Those of you following a vegan eating plan are likely already aware of the importance of taking a vitamin B12 supplement due to this vitamin not being found in plants. Though our B12 needs do not change with age, a synthetic form is recommended for all women ages 50 and over. The reason for this is we produce less stomach acid as we get older making it difficult for us to absorb natural B12. Synthetic B12 does not require stomach acid for proper absorption.
Chronic stress over time can lead to so many health issues. It also leads to deficiencies in certain B vitamins in our bodies. Unfortunately, as water-soluble vitamins, our body is unable to store B vitamins for long periods of time. So, in periods of high stress (like the one we are currently living through!), supplementing with B vitamins may be beneficial. B vitamins work together as a team, so I often recommend a complete B complex supplement. One of my personal favourites is a formula containing L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes calmness, without sedating effects, and assists with higher-quality sleep, a struggle for so many at this stage of life.
There’s such a vast array of supplements and suppliers on the market today.
Choosing a trusted, professional brand that uses only the purest ingredients can be an overwhelming task. I have made this job easier by creating a list of my personal top choices in my online supplement store. These high-quality supplements are always available without a formal appointment. Just click on the link below, sign up, and you can view the brands I love.
PLEASE NOTE: *If you are currently taking prescribed medication or have a pre-existing health condition, it’s always best to consult your physician or pharmacist prior to taking any supplements. It is also good practice to keep an updated list of your supplements (with doses) at hand so that you may easily share them with any healthcare professional.