The fabulous years of your 50s often bring a newfound sense of confidence, wisdom, and an appreciation for your body and all it can do for you as a woman. As you age and embrace a new phase of life, it's crucial to prioritise your health and well-being to ensure you can live your best life as long as possible. While a healthy diet and active lifestyle are the foundation of a healthy life, there are times when our bodies could benefit from an extra boost of nutrients. If this is you, keep reading for some tips on supplements worth considering when in this phase of your life.
Women over 50 have an increased risk of osteoporosis as the ovaries stop producing the protective hormone oestrogen. Therefore, ensuring an adequate intake of calcium is important for maintaining bone health and density. Including good quality dairy and other calcium-rich foods (e.g. dark leafy greens and calcium-fortified foods) in your diet regularly is recommended. However, if you find it hard to consume food containing adequate calcium, opting for a supplement is a great option.
Vitamin D also plays a role in bone health, therefore ensuring adequate levels are maintained during this life stage is important to prevent osteoporosis. Due to the lack of vitamin D available from the sun during the winter months in the UK, it is recommended that everyone supplements with Vitamin D during the autumn and winter months.
Vitamin B complex (specifically including B12 and B6)
B vitamins can help to reduce mood swings and hot flushes that can severely impact a woman’s day-to-day life. B vitamins are also important for maintaining healthy cell function and energy levels. Additionally as people age, their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food decreases. Therefore, supplementing with vitamin B12 can help maintain healthy nerve function and red blood cell production. When looking for a Vitamin B complex, ensure it contains all eight B vitamins.
Magnesium plays a role in a range of bodily functions, including bone health, muscle function, and nerve transmission. Some women may have inadequate magnesium intake due to digestive issues, dietary choices, medications or increased magnesium needs. Magnesium supplementation may also help relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, sleep disturbances and support bone health, although individual results can vary.
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart. These can be obtained from fish oil supplements or dietary sources such as fatty fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, mackerel). Maintaining good heart health in your 50s is important due to the increased risk of heart disease, accumulation of risk factors due to ageing and menopausal-related hormone changes.
From supporting your bone health to protecting your heart, these supplements can be valuable additions to your healthy lifestyle and help you to feel your best vibrant self. However, as with all new supplements or lifestyle changes, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional first to ensure that they align with your specific requirements, as individual needs may vary.
Written by Harriet Lidgard
Nutritionist (BSc) & Health Coach