Nutritionist shares the essential vitamins and minerals for health and vibrancy
Most women in their 40’s and 50’s who see me in my busy clinic are seeking more energy, a calmer, happier mood and help to lose weight.
Before I reach for a tablet I like to explore the food my clients are eating and drinking because nutrition has a powerful impact on the energy, vitality and lust for life of menopausal women!
Let’s do a roll call of the essential vitamin and mineral partners in creating and maintaining health and vibrancy.
Vitamins and minerals to support women’s health over 45
Iron is so frequently low in the women who consult with me I feel like it is at epidemic proportions.
The sad fact is not eating enough iron-rich foods leaves you tired, getting puffed easily and feeling weak. It’s easy to understand why women with low iron think they are unfit and push themselves to exercise more.
Unfortunately exercising further depletes iron stores causing a frustrating condition I call ‘exercise intolerance’. When you are exercise intolerant you feel even more tired, even more breathless and even weaker after doing exercise.
But I don’t advocate taking a strong iron tablet during menopause because supplementing many times more than the recommended daily requirement brings with it unacceptable risks.
Rather I prefer a daily diet filled with iron-rich foods and an iron-rich shake like The Healthy Mummy Smoothie 45+. Then if your symptoms don’t resolve we dig a little deeper with a blood test called an ‘iron panel’.
Read how this mum increased her energy and iron.
Iodine is the key ingredient that makes a series of thyroid hormones directly influencing your energy levels, the amount you sleep, how refreshed you are when you wake up, your weight, mood, brain function and even the amount of hair on your head and eyebrows!
Thyroid hormones are like petrol in your engine fuelling the activity of every cell in your body. If you are low in thyroid hormones you may feel tired, brain foggy, depressed and be gaining weight or struggling to lose weight. So getting enough iodine to make thyroid hormones is essential to survive and thrive.
It’s attractive to think about adding in a high strength iodine supplement when you read the list of symptoms low iodine causes, right? But a sudden and dramatic increase in iodine has been linked to a heightened risk of developing a thyroid disorder. Rather it is much safer, and still gives you a boost in energy, to focus on getting your iodine levels up via your diet.
At the same time as you boost your intake of iodine, it is important to add in a thyroid-protective mineral called selenium. Unfortunately, most women don’t enjoy the foods iodine is found naturally in, seaweed and seafood, so the safe dose in The Healthy Mummy Smoothie 45+ is a good supplementary option especially as it is buffered with selenium to support the thyroid.
Read Sonia’s advice on natural supplements safety and HRT.
B12 is a vitamin found in abundant quantities in red meat and it is linked to brain and nervous system function.
It is really common to absorb less B12 from food as we age leaving us more vulnerable to low B12 levels. Low B12 has been linked to fatigue, depression and, if it gets dangerously low, pins and needles in your fingers and toes.
In my clinic, focussed on fighting fatigue almost every woman, I see women who struggle to eat enough iron, iodine, selenium and B12 in their daily diet. Because what they are eating does not provide them with the foundations of energy it’s easy to understand why they resort to an afternoon pick-me-up of coffee and a sugary snack.
Caffeine, Protein and other foods for health
Personally, I love a good quality coffee but using caffeine as a stimulant to get through your day leaves most women worse off – feeling anxious and struggling to sleep at night.
If you do like a caffeine boost choose green tea as it causes less anxiety and is less likely to interfere with sleep than coffee. The caffeine in green tea is buffered by nutrients that are potentially very soothing on brain function.
Read about the benefits of green tea for weight loss.
Any conversation we have about energy, mood and weight loss must talk about good quality sources of protein. Most women who see me are not eating enough protein to feed a small puppy let alone a fully grown human being.
Consuming inadequate protein leaves you exhausted, moody and starving hungry regardless of the number of calories you’ve digested.
Whether or not you eat animals or plants as your protein, my preference is you choose a ‘complete’ source of protein supplying all the essential building blocks (amino acids) you need. Soy and spirulina are ‘complete’ proteins.
Magnesium, zinc and vitamin B6
Getting enough magnesium, zinc and B6 in addition to protein builds healthy and happy brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, as well as helping to calm anxiety.
It’s no surprise then in developing a daily product for women over 45 The Healthy Mummy has crafted a formula with carefully selected amounts of:
- Iron, iodine, selenium, B12 and Green tea for energy
- Non-GM Soy and spirulina as complete proteins
- Magnesium, zinc and B6 for brain supportive and potentially calming nutrients.
Get your hands on our Healthy Mummy Smoothie 45+ today!
Healthy Mummy Smoothie 45+ contains a unique combination of ingredients designed specifically to support the needs of women over 45 years old’
- Vitamin D with Calcium to enhance bone mineral density
- 50% of your Vit D RDI which is critical for bone health
- Good source of Protein for muscle mass maintenance
- Vitamin B6 for balanced hormonal activity support
- Zinc, Vitamin C + E to protect cells from free radical damage
Find out more and buy our Healthy Mummy Smoothie 45+ today!
Join our Healthy Mummy Over 45 Facebook support group to get advice and support from other mums who are over 45.