Today is World Menopause Day (October 18th) and an important time to look at the benefits of nutrition and its role in women’s health. Young women in particular should examine their nutrient intake and how its affecting their health. Official health data shows that the average woman is falling short on seven out of eight key minerals. While the average man is falling short on five out of eight.
The report comes from a Public Health England National Diet and Nutrition Survey which found that out of 3,238 adults, women are getting only 68 per cent of the recommended intake for iron, 69 per cent for potassium, 66 per cent for selenium, 80 per cent for copper and magnesium, 89 per cent for iodine and 97 per cent for calcium.
These missing minerals are so important because they contribute to various functions in the body that promote good health and prevent disease. Here are just seven of the best nutrients women should consider taking…
Eating omega-3 rich foods can ease abdominal discomfort and monthly cramps. Studies show it can decrease joint pain and alleviate rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3s can also support healthy moods and may be effective against anxiety and depression.
Recommend EPA and DHA dosage is 220mg EPA and 220mg DHA. Pregnant and lactating women are recommended up to 300mg DHA daily.
As an essential mineral, Magnesium can protect against pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and preterm delivery. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle twitches and cramps and irregular heartbeat. Recommended intake is 310-320mg per day.
Women typically lose around 1mg of iron in their menstrual period each month. They need to make up the amount of iron lost. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia – a condition which causes extreme fatigue, weakness, chest pain, pale skin, cold hands and feet, headaches and dizziness. Recommended dosage is 17.0–18.9 mg/day in women older than 19.
Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis and weak/thinning bones, especially after menopause when oestrogen levels are reduced. Recommended Calcium intake is 1,000-1,200 milligrams per day for women aged 25-50 years old. Pregnant or lactating women should have 1,500 milligrams of Calcium per day.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Women looking to get pregnant need Folate as this is essential for human growth and development. It also supports a healthy nervous system and age-related memory decline. Recommended dosage is 400mcg per day.
Older women have an increased risk of fractures. Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The best source of Vitamin D is from the sun’s ultraviolet (UVB) rays that are absorbed by the skin. Recommended dosage of Vitamin D for women is 600IU per day.
Levels of Vitamin B12 decline as a woman ages. Eating foods fortified with B12 or taking a Vitamin B12 supplement can help with symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, pale skin, constipation, loss of appetite and nerve problems related to numbness and tingling, muscle weakness, etc. Recommended daily dosage is 2.6mcg/day.
Other Missing Minerals
Some other minerals that were found to be missing from women’s diet include Iodine and Zinc.
Iodine is essential for producing thyroid hormones and growth, especially of the brain and nervous system. This also contributes to a good immune system. The best source of iodine is kelp.
Zinc is essential for healthy fertility and reproduction. It helps the immune cells to grow and supports healthy hair, skin and nails. It’s often found in nuts, seeds and legumes.
Potassium supports a healthy nervous system and keeps the muscles working as they should. Good sources of Potassium include broccoli, bananas, spinach, legumes and sweet potatoes.
Copper helps with energy use from food, transporting iron around the body. It also contributes to hair and skin colour, along with a healthy immune system. Copper is found in dark leafy greens, cocoa, beans and nuts.
Selenium is important for male reproduction and sperm formation. It’s also essential for healthy thyroid function, immunity and protecting cells. Selenium also keeps your hair and nails healthy. It’s most commonly found in Brazil nuts.
Essential Nutrients For Women
You can print this off as a reference guide of which essential nutrients to take on a daily basis for good health.
|One Missing Mineral Can Transform Your Health: Iodine – Written by Robert Redfern of Naturally Healthy Publications, this ebook explains the importance of Iodine in your diet and why it’s essential for good health. Available for free download from Naturally Healthy News.
|Active Life™ – Contains 130 nutrients for best health. This includes 75 plant-derived minerals, 12 vitamins, and 3 other nutrients to help replenish storages in your body that are naturally depleted each day.
Contains Calcium, Folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Includes the critical minerals selenium and chromium that the body needs. May help to support a healthy immune system and normal recovery processes. Available from Good Health Naturally.
|Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra with OptiMSM – The Ancient Minerals Magnesium formula incorporates the unique synergistic benefits of OptiMSM® and magnesium in an easy-to-use and convenient spray for maximum absorption.
|Nascent Iodine – This can promote increased energy and immunity levels within the body. Improves thyroid health and hormone production.Short-term symptoms of iodine deficiency may also include brain fog, tingling hands and feet, constipation and a slowed metabolism, depression, anxiety, fatigue, high cholesterol, insomnia, swelling, and weight gain. Take 1-3 drops of Nascent Iodine in a half ounce of water each day. Available from Good Health Naturally.
|Vitamin D3/K2 Spray™ – Combines 1000IU of Vitamin D3 and 100mcg of Vitamin K2 MK7 in an easy to use sublingual spray for maximum absorption. Helps to support a normal immune system response, support better calcium absorption and phosphorus absorption in the bones. It is also the world’s only Vegan and Vegetarian Society Registered Vitamin D3. Available from Good Health Naturally.