Give your body what it needs!
All the physical changes a woman goes through in perimenopause and menopause are confusing and difficult enough.
Trying to understand how fluctuating hormones affect our bodies can feel like an additional burden. In fact, many women are not well-informed about their changing nutrient needs and about what they should expect in perimenopause and menopause.
To help women going through this major transition in life, we created a short list of the nutrients that research has shown to be important in perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Menopause supplements.
1. Calcium: Prevents Bone Loss
As our hormone levels drop, so does the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This is why many women suffer from bone density loss – osteoporosis – in and after menopause, causing brittle bones that fracture easily. Getting enough calcium is crucial at this age. Women under the age of 51 should be taking 1.000 milligrams (mg) a day, while women over 51 would need to raise it to 1.200 mg.
As we enter perimenopause, it is essential to pay attention to osteoporosis and go for bone density scans on time. In general, it is a recommended test 12 months after your last period.
Healthy food is the best source of calcium, such as dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fish like sardines, to name just a few. If you need to fill the need for calcium with a supplement, take it in small doses with your meals. This way, it is absorbed better.
Lifestyle is also crucial for keeping your bones strong and healthy. Research proved that exercise like running, walking, resistance training, and dancing can help keep your bones healthy.
Be sure to take Calcium with vitamin D and K. They regulate the absorption of calcium so that it is optimally absorbed.
2. Vitamin D: Get Out In The Sun
As mentioned, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. The most powerful source of vitamin D is the sun. If you live in an area where you can’t get enough sunlight, you should consider taking supplements of this vitamin.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are foods rich in vitamin D. Mushrooms, eggs, and milk are also good sources of this vitamin.
The recommended dosage is 800-1000 IU daily, but in these COVID19 times, many doctors suggest that we take dosages as high as 4000 IU daily.
If you have heavy menstrual bleeding in the perimenopausal stage, it is crucial that you check your iron levels to exclude acute or even chronic anemia. Iron supplements are essential if tests show that you are iron-deficient.
In this case, you need to follow your doctor’s advice and not try to deal with this situation yourself. Iron supplements are not universal, and there are many aspects to consider. This is why a trained medical professional is essential.
Iron-rich foods are shellfish, spinach, leafy green vegetables, liver and organ meats, legumes, red meat, pumpkin seeds, and turkey, among others.
5. Vitamins B6 and B12
These vitamins are very important in perimenopause and menopause. They not only boost serotonin and increase energy levels and ward off menopausal depression but can also help with insomnia, and for some, even relieving hot flashes and mood swings.
Vitamin B6 can cause problems if taken more than 1.5 mg a day total.
Harvard School of Public Health recommends these food sources of B6 vitamin: beans, poultry, fish, and vegetables and fruits, especially dark leafy greens, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
B12 is responsible for increasing energy, protecting your brain and heart, reinforcing good gut health, and helping your nervous system and eyesight to work well.
Food sources for B12 vitamins are mostly animal-based, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and eggs. This can be a challenge for vegetarians and vegans. There are some fortified cereals and non-dairy products on the market that can help address this issue.
The daily recommended dose for vitamin B12 is 2.4 microgram.
6. Vitamin K
Sometimes jokingly called “vitamin Kale” as it is found in leafy green vegetables. It is one of the important vitamins for bone density. Harvard School of Public Health says that you may cut the risk of hip fractures if you eat one serving of leafy greens a day. A recent study has shown vitamin K may also help with heavy menstrual bleeding in perimenopause.
Other examples of foods rich in vitamin K are chard, lettuce, spinach, cruciferous veggies (broccoli and Brussels sprouts), blueberries, blackberries, and prunes. Studies show it’s even more effective when vitamin K is taken with vitamin D. So; you might want to eat your salad outside in the sunshine.😃
The recommended daily dose is 90 mcg of vitamin K.
Estrogen is a “key player” in keeping your bones healthy and strong because it helps your bones absorb calcium. In menopause, estrogen levels decrease, raising the risk of fractures. This is where vitamin K comes in by helping bone health and preventing demineralization.
7. Vitamin C
This is another vitamin that helps your bone density as well as boosting your immune system and being an anti-oxidant. You might already know that Vitamin C is vital for optimal health, but a less known fact is that vitamin C levels also drop during perimenopause and menopause.
In a study done in 2018, women who took high doses of vitamin C did not only have higher bone density but also did better on cognitive tests than those who took lower doses of this vitamin.
There is evidence that vitamin C may support the body’s responses to anxiety, stress and may even lower blood pressure.
Vitamin C is also responsible for collagen production, which helps keep skin younger and healthier.
Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits (but watch out for excess added sugar in juices), cantaloupe, kiwi, mango, papaya, berries, and more. Vegetables rich in this vitamin are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leafy greens, tomatoes, and potatoes.
For adult women, 75 mg is the recommended amount of vitamin C, but you can not overdose on vitamin C as the body flushes out the excess in the urine. Some doctors advise taking doses of up to 2000 mg of vitamin C, especially in the winter.
8. Omega 3s
These vital omega 3 fatty acids are often not consumed in adequate amounts, although they play a critical role in health. A key omega 3s is DHA fatty acid is one of the main building blocks of our brain cells. DHA also plays a part in maintaining good eyesight and heart-health.
In the past 10 years, the number of postmenopausal women over 50, dying from heart attacks is on a steep rise, reaching the same risk levels as men’s in the US.
According to research, boosting your omega 3s either through your diet or by taking quality supplements can also help reduce joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Foods rich in Omega-3s are oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, eggs, beans, nuts, and leafy vegetables. Additionally, vegetarian sources include microalgae and tofu.
Omega-3s can thin your blood, so if you take blood thinners, it is very important to talk with your doctor before adding this supplement.
Talk to your doctor first about any supplements you are planning to take.
- Supplements have potential side effects.
- Supplements and herbs may interact with some medication you are taking. They could boost or cancel out the effect of other medications or could cause other problems.
- Some herbs can cause allergic reactions.
- If you decide to take supplements, make sure that they are produced by reliable and credible companies.